Announcement of a new wave of pandemic in Argentina The results of the latest report on the state of health in the country released this Sunday (15). The panorama described by the Ministry of Health of Argentina reported that the contagion doubled in just a weekThree times in two weeks and quadruple in one month.
33,989 cases were reported in the last seven days. 92.6% higher Compared to 17,646 a week ago. This was 182% higher than two weeks ago. Infections have increased by 305.2% in the past four weeks from 8,387 to the current 33,989.
“Today we’re starting Argentina The fourth wave of covid-19 that comes to us in a completely different situation from the previous ones”, Health Minister Carla Vizotti hinted at the opening of the Federal Health Council, which brought together 24 Argentine health ministers. Villa la Angostura Province in the Patagonian city of.
The minister outlined “a picture with regard to vaccination which allows a new phase of the pandemic to pass through”.
“There is no possibility of fresh imprisonment”, assured Vizzotti, ruling out the possibility of new imprisonments prevailing in 2020, when Argentina For 233 days, it was the longest and strictest quarantine in the world.
“Cases will increase. Therefore, we need to proceed with vaccinations so that they do not result in hospitalizations or deaths”, oriented minister Vizotti.
Carla Vizotti during a press conference at Casa Rosada, the seat of the Argentine government in Buenos Aires on April 21, 2021 – Photo: Maria Eugenia Cerutti / AFP
loss of acquired immunity
Due to the decline in cases during the summer, Argentina By April 17, it stopped publishing daily reports, adopting the weekly pattern. However, since then, with the drop in temperature, just a month before winter, the contagion has peaked.
The drop in temperature paralleled three factors that experts attribute to explaining the new wave: the highly infectious omicron variant, relaxation in preventive care and a decrease in acquired immunity, whether through contagion or vaccines.
In January 2022, Argentina was the eighth country with the highest number of Covid cases reported in 24 hours.
,During the summer, the Omicron type infected a large portion of the population, leading to temporary immunity., At the same time, vaccination has advanced, strengthening immunity through vaccination. Now, months later, the effect of these two protections is starting to wane. Hence the importance of the third dose”, explains Roberto Debag, president of the Latin American Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, to the RFI.
The vaccination campaign, although it reached 88% of the population with a single dose and 80% with a whole regimen, has been stagnant for months, particularly with 47.6% in a booster dose.
“The main reason for the rise in cases is slow vaccination with booster doses, We know that only two doses are not enough for the Omicron variant”, observes Eduardo López, infectious disease specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Buenos Aires and director of pediatric infectious diseases at the Faculty of Medicine of Buenos Aires.
Despite the rise in infections, the occupancy rate of beds in ICUs has remained stable at 41.2% and the number of deaths fell from 76 to 47 in the past week, a drop of 40%.
“This indicates that we are starting a new wave, but in a new wave of mild cases”, hailed the country’s health minister, Ferna Queiros.
“It will not be like the previous waves in which cases spiked, then hospitalized and patients died a few days later. This time, it will be a large majority of mild cases due to vaccination and acquired immunity”, predicts Queiros. does.
A health worker collects a nasal sample from a woman for COVID-19 testing at a free testing center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 10. — Photo: Alejandro Pagani / AFP
The current protocol of the Argentine Ministry of Health establishes that tests are carried out only in the elderly and in risk groups. Therefore, experts calculate that the increase of 92.6% of cases during the last week, though high, has been underestimated.
in the capital Argentinawhich governs another test protocol, which is open to all segments, Cases increased by 128% in the last seven days,
Since the start of the pandemic, Argentina There were 9.135 million infections, of which 128,776 died out of a total of 47 million residents. In 87% of new cases, the micron variant is dominant through the BA.2 subline.