With the rapid increase in cases of COVID-19 in Brazil over the past 14 days, the Ministry of Health determined the relaxation of isolation measures for those infected with the disease. in an interview with Congress in focusJosé Dewey Urbez, Scientific Director of the Sociedade de Infectologia do Distrito Federal and Professor of the University of Brasilia (UnB), said Marcelo Quiroga’s decision contradicts the recommendation of science for the current state of the pandemic, and serves only economic interests Government.
In the opinion of the infectionologist, there is no doubt that Ministry of Health Made a mistake in the sense of protecting public health. “It was a hasty decision, and very immediate. I and a good portion of infection science experts do not agree with this change”, he said.
The new isolation protocol provides for a second test for COVID-19 on the fifth day after symptoms appear. If the result is negative, the patient can now resume their routine. Otherwise, there will be a holiday for 10 days after the completion of the first examination. The measure is contrary to the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO), which indicates 14 days of isolation regardless of a new test.
Urbez points out that the liberal protocol was not established by chance. “The explanation for the reduction in isolation time was originally due to loss of workforce. This is the biggest impetus, it is the pressure of the productive sector that happens all over the world.” Other countries such as France and the United States have adopted similar measures, also for economic interests.
However, the new time frame lacks scientific rigor. “This protocol came after the Atlanta (USA) Disease Control Service situation in the last week of December. It has many, many flaws, because there has been no work on viral transmission that could serve as its basis”, Dr. warned.
In addition to the lack of scientific basis in the health ministry’s recommendation, Urbez warns of the risks involved. “This is a very weak strategy, which risks further increasing the transmission rate of COVID-19 from people who are being released to return to work without stopping transmission.” Patients’ interactions with other people inside the home increase the risk.
In the current phase of the pandemic, infectious experts highlight that easing measures to prevent contaminating people poses an even greater risk. “With the micron variant, which dominates today, we have very little data. But a recent study in Japan shows that 20% of infected people continue to spread the disease even on the seventh day.”
The situation becomes more serious when seen in the Brazilian landscape. “We have about 30% of the population without full vaccination. This represents at least 60 million people who are likely to be infected. In this scenario the virus may have a longer duration of infection”, he warned.
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