Posts Tagged ‘Pandemic’

Covid is back to record high in Brazil

16 May

In a report by Veja magazine, experts say that the variation of 20.4% compared to two weeks ago, the assessment is that above 15% is already classified as a high moving average.

In another report by USP (University of São Paulo, Brazil), Professor Esper Kallás, from the Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases at the USP School of Medicine and infectious disease coordinator at the Clinical Research Center at Hospital das Clínicas da USP, analyzed the current situation, stating that at the beginning of the pandemic it was thought that it would peak but it would not bring surprises, but “time has shown us that we were wrong”, he added.

According to Professor Kallás, the virus has multiplied very quickly around the planet, which has favored its ability to genetically modify which resulted in new variants.

He said verbatim to the report: “This made the virus adapt with a main objective, which was its transmissibility, because, from an evolutionary point of view, what it wants is to spread”, he explains. This is due to natural selection, that is, those with the highest transmission capacity stand out in relation to the others.

In addition to him, the professor also informed other researchers that the current coronavirus is the most transmissible virus ever known.

In its current worst moment, the moving average of known cases reached the mark of 188 thousand cases, it went down until it was close to 12 thousand cases and was below 100 deaths, now it is about to reach 17 thousand known cases daily, returning to get above 100 deaths a day.

The moment is worrying, experts point out, but health authorities are betting on a new fall, even without any evidence, to justify the release of protocols.



Covid 19 rising trend in Brazil

09 May

In numbers Publisher by the Brazilian Ministry of Health itself, ranging from May 4th to 5th, Saturday and Sunday in general there is underreporting, the epidemiological bulletin has already recorded a high of around 8.9% with 21,682 new infections and 137 deaths from the disease. .

This trend has continued since the beginning of the month and reaching the rate of 15% will be considered a new high and a new wave, although the number of deaths is lower and a moving average remains below 100 daily deaths, being average and having number above 100 could rise again, as the average number of infections is higher and the number of deaths is lower because the strain is less lethal than the previous ones.

The calculation of moving averages is done by experts using the records of the last 14 days and dividing the total by 14, it is possible to have a broader view of the current moment of Covid.

There is no clear analysis of this slight increase, perhaps a seasonal effect of the arrival of the cold that favors respiratory infections, but this would be very premature because it is happening in the southern hemisphere in less than a week, perhaps the greater capacity of infections of the second omicron lineage, BA.2, the worrying thing is that it favors the circulation of the virus and the danger of new variants.

Except for specialized sectors that alert to the issue, little attention is paid to the most accurate information about this future of SARS-Covid, only the situation in China that remains serious and now even with reports of inhumanities due to an excessive and strict #lockdown.

In Brazil it is electoral period and this does not favor correct information about Covid.



Study reveals danger in new variants

02 May

The world number of deaths from Covid 19 decreases, but with resistance to say that the variants can be less lethal and make the number fall to zero, while the health crisis hits China’s largest cities hard, including now the capital Beijing, without a clear diagnosis.

In Brazil, the falling number now seems to stabilize with small increases, at times it exceeds 100 daily deaths of the moving average, reaching 200 and the number of infections does not fall, reaching close to 20 thousand cases, which is the scenario future?

A Brazilian study, carried out by researchers from USP-Brazil at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICB) and the Institute of Chemistry (IQ) as well as researchers from the Hospital Sírio-Libanês do Brasil, reveals that the new variants of SARS-COV-2 are more likely to circumvent the population’s immune defenses and should emerge in the coming months.

The work was published by the journal Viruses and reviews more than 150 articles, investigated the immune system’s evasion capacity, transmissibility and effectiveness with vaccination in addition to the mutation potential and the result serves as a warning.

The article reads verbatim “Growing evidence has shown that mutations are being selected in favor of variants that are more capable of evading the action of neutralizing antibodies” and shows that the authorities’ lack of concern with the pandemic is political.

In terms of protocols, individual concerns follow, there is no clear public policy





Covid Resilient and health policy

25 Apr

The reason why the falling Covid is so resilient in the country has two explanations: the medical one, as the number of deaths falls slowly while the number of infections has a slower decline since the predominant variant is less lethal (see the graph in Brazil) and the other is a sanitary policy, since sanitary protocols are no longer used, except in rare environments.

It is not just about the economic fact, since all economic sectors have returned to activity and a global crisis is looming on the horizon due to a war that is escalating and is already affecting the food and fuel sector, with a very bleak future scenario.

However, there are activities that could be very well controlled, public parties (or private parties that have become an alternative), rules of operation in school environments and diverse cultural spaces (including religious ones) and the maintenance of masks since everyone has one.

The governors of the northeast (Brazilian) are already talking about the use of masks, but the real concern is with the drop in health investment levels and we may have other cases soon, such as the traditional viral waves at the beginning of winter and dengue.

A seminar with several international health authorities was held last Wednesday (2/23) with the theme “Global Health Agenda: Perspectives for 2022”, mediated by Fiocrus senior researcher Luiz Augusto Galvão.

All participants somehow expressed concern about safe health policies that guarantee control of the Pandemic, which is attenuated, but without guarantees of its end, Brazilian researcher Mariângela Batista Galvão Simão highlighted that a scenario of eradication of Covid is possible:

“That’s because today we have tools and know-how that we didn’t have before, but it won’t happen if we’re complacent,” he declared.




Covid: end of the state of emergency in Brazil

18 Apr

The state of Emergency in Public Health of National Importance (ESPIN) in Brazil was decreed by the then Minister of Health Henrique Mandetta, in February 2020, this weekend Minister Marcelo Queiroga declared the end of the Public Emergency, ESPIN started a cycle that allowed special funds for the purchase of supplies and vaccines to combat the pandemic.

The first official case was registered on February 26, 2020, making it more than 2 years ago, from then on it was a set of uncertain steps, opening and closing of establishments, bans on public gatherings, including cultural and religious events.

There is no declaration of a pandemic, nor an express release of safety protocols, as always the criteria are vague, such as the use of masks for example, which would be recommended.

The average number of deaths in the country is now around 100, having registered a very low number at the weekend, around 30 (the bodies that publish the numbers varied), but it must be remembered that the functioning of the secretariats of health on weekends is deficient.

It is difficult to predict the future of the disease with scientific data, experts warn, in general they draw two scenarios, one more optimistic that predicts the extinction of the virus and its variants, and another that predicts living with Covid-19 for a long time, which is considered more realistic, albeit at lower levels, and only in this case could it be considered endemic.

What is expected is serious monitoring and effective control of the circulation of the virus in the country.



Covid moving average drops, but variant already appears

11 Apr

According to data from FioCruz in March, the genomes of covid cases evaluated in patients infected with the BA.2 mutation (second lineage of the omicron) grew from 1.1% in February to 3.4% in March, it is 63% more transmissible and in Europe and the East it is already dominant.

The moving average of both infections and deaths has been falling (see the table to the side) but there is nothing in Brazil other than monitoring, the testing policy does not exist and the protocols are already relaxed, to complicate the cold and the carnival outside of time that favors agglomerations.

The cold favors lung diseases and consequently the Covid that causes infections of this type is favored, in addition to other respiratory diseases typical of this season, the flu vaccination campaign is still in slow motion.

The federal government says it does monitoring, the state ones don’t even that, the discussion about whether to release it or not is now irrelevant, since the population, at its own risk, has already relaxed preventive measures and carnival parties, completely out of season, will take place, private or public.

What remains for us is special private care and the hope that the vaccination rate in the country, which is quite high, will definitely stop the advance of Covid 19, amid other supply and price crises that are already quite worrying on the horizon.

So it stays on everyone’s conscience, since it’s not just the individual problem, the pandemic taught us that it’s everyone’s problem, someone who doesn’t take care infects someone close.



Covid 2.0: flexibility and new care

04 Apr

Except for China, which still makes strict lock downs, even countries that practiced confinement, such as Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, by easing protection measures, had in recent weeks a significant increase in cases by covid, even so they reopened.

I call it Covid 2.0, because Web 2.0 meant the arrival of the Web for everyone, yes most cases are few serious and there are many asymptomatic cases, but the virus circulates, and the number of deaths is around 200, which is the case from Brazil, means 1,400 per week, this is not a small amount.

In Europe, many countries, such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, France and Spain, had already relaxed public health policy measures, and there are already increases in Covid 2.0 cases there.

Worldwide, the number of cases has been falling, and the WHO itself is already waving a post-Covid scenario, what is worrying is that there is no policy for cases of outbreaks in certain regions and a clear policy of easing, and the number of cases small deaths, 1643 in the last few hours, contrasts with the number of infections: 777 thousand.

It is believed that the new variants will be less serious (China has already discovered a new variant), although not less infectious as BA.2 is already more infectious than the original Omicron, which explains the high number of infections.

It would be advisable to check and isolate regions with outbreaks and not fail to have some social protection, for example, distancing and masks, which is possible even with flexibility.

The hope that the new variants will be less aggressive and that the number will continue to fall is good, but not failing to take care is dangerous and now depends only on individual attitudes and giving support to needy regions that still have low vaccination rates.

On these days the HSE (Health Service Executive) – Irish public health service reported that the number of cases of hospitalizations for covid has grown again and is studying to apply the 4th. dose.



Error and the search for truth

30 Mar

The phrase is from the Russian writer Mikhail Saltykov-Tcherdrine, who wrote about the pseudonym M. Nepanov (wrote Contradictions), his phrase: “whoever never sought the truth certainly never made a mistake”, much better than the popular adage: “only whoever never tries is wrong”, because even if it is innocently, something is always tried.

His sentence completes this thought: “There are times when society, seized with panic, deviates from science and seeks salvation in ignorance”, something that seems typical of our time: at first ignoring the pandemic and vaccines, then ignoring the dangers that result from it and finally try to live with it as if the disease were something natural, and the remedy is to vaccinate four, five, … times.

Folly and frivolity seem to be reactions to a crisis that is deepening, in addition to the war, a rise in prices and food shortages are looming, yes what happens for the time being seems to be circumvented and when it is no longer, what would be wise to do, it seems that few care.

I chose to speak of an unknown literary author of the 19th century, he did not live in the period of the Soviet Union, to attest to the ignorance of punishing Russian culture, science and sports, as a punishment for a war, undoubtedly unfair, but of the which the Russian people are also victims.

Even seeing the horrors happening in Ukraine, we cannot ignore the horrors of the West and the warlike escalation that may have in the near future other chapters as painful as the current ones, is an escalation that seems to have no return.

One cannot ignore the mistakes of the second war, the mistakes of the post-war period, the countless interventions in the East, Asia and Africa that caused wars and deaths that were equally reprehensible.

It is necessary to recognize the mistakes, it is necessary to forgive the colonial period, still in progress, and it is necessary to allow peoples to live their culture, their ideals, as developed by Raymond Aron (War and Peace between Nations) and in security, the The author quotes Clausewitz in his book: “War is an act of violence, and there are no limits to the manifestation of this violence” (Aron, p. 69).

It’s a difficult time when we just point out our mistakes to others, without looking at our own.



Why the Pandemic Isn’t Over

28 Mar

The hypotheses that vaccines are efficient against the variants of the Ômicron fall apart when it is observed that in the East and in Europe the variant BA.2, already called Ômicron 2.0, has a degree of infection 1.5% higher than the original strain and even where the number of deaths is falling, the degree of infection recedes at a slower rate.

In Brazil, the number of deaths is in the moving average around 250, while the number of infections is in a moving average that varies below 40 thousand and above 32 thousand, but if observed punctually, the number of infections on Thursday was 47,000 and Friday of 36,176 on Saturday, and there are still unreported cases of asymptomatic and there is no testing policy.

Imagining that the next strains may be less lethal can only be thought of in the field of hypotheses, although there are studies that even claim this, in fact, the explosion of cases in Europe and the East belies this possibility, as there are already reported deaths and low efficiency. of vaccines.

The release of protocols, it is true that not in all environments, some places continue to be more careful, but the political signaling of release leads to less care.

According to the WHO, BA.2 is associated with an increase in cases of Covid-19 in European and Eastern countries, and while at the end of January there was a drop in infections, in the period from the 14th to the 20th of this month the world body of health records an increase of 7% in infections, while the number of deaths there is a reduction of 23%, which means lower lethality of the strain.

The entity recorded 12.3 million new cases and 32,900 deaths from Covid-19 in the period.

There is undoubtedly a drop, but the greater spread of the new strain should be viewed with concern because it promotes the circulation of the virus and does not eliminate the possibility of mutations.


Neither plague nor war warns us

23 Mar

When the pandemic came, great global solidarity was expected, a retreat would make us go a little beyond our own ego, review many things, including our daily lives that are always running and often meaningless.

War should alert us to the brutality, cruelty and massacre that it provides and make us less warlike and more empathetic in everyday life and solidarity with the innocent who are the first to die in the face of brutality.

Generations who lived through the war told and wrote about its horrors, including the contemporary wars in Korea and Vietnam, it’s good not to forget, but the great revolution in the 60’s was the hippies criticizing consumerism, the peace and love generation, inspired by Ghandi and in several mystics, but something insensitive is in the air: the justification of cruelty that is paradoxical.

Paradoxical because the justification is the opposite of what is done: peace, liberation, the end of oppression and other slogans that are mere propaganda, because what is done is visibly contrary to what is preached, and this is in all areas. social, from culture to warlike thinking.

UN Secretary General António Guterrez in a speech called for an end to the “absurd” war, citing the city-to-city conquest made in Ukraine and the massacre in Mariupol, where 100,000 people tried to leave and are prevented, it is like a concentration camp. no walls.

Kiev had parks, churches and walkways that are the opposite of the war images (pictured is Kalynovka park near Kiev).

The economic war waged through western sanctions will have serious consequences for the supply, not only of fuel that was already suffering on the market even before the war, but the scarcity of food can lead to the third point of the crisis of civilization: hunger.

It is always possible to resume dialogue, negotiation, to prevent the proliferation of the war industry, which moves billions of dollars in a perverse market and which is on an increasing scale in the middle of a war, not to mention the nuclear danger that is a global reality.

We must cultivate empathy and solidarity, hope and especially the love that breaks the chain of hate that surrounds the entire planet, let us begin in our daily lives to lay down our weapons.