Health Minister Marcelo Quiroga said on Friday that he did not expect, at this time, the arrival of a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this, he admits that some states and municipalities have already identified new pressure on the health system, with the number of hospitalizations increasing, and he said the government is strengthening measures to ensure the provision of an intubation kit. The announcement also occurs as Maranhão records cases of the Indian variant of the Coronavirus.
There is always a question about the third wave. We are in a pandemic, we already have the first wave, and we are working to reduce the deaths in this second wave, and we all have to be alert to a possible third wave, but we are not seeing that at the moment. The correct way to avoid the third wave is to push through the vaccination campaign, and this is what we are doing, ”said Quiroga.
The minister said he expects the National Agency for Health Supervision (Anvisa) to authorize the new immunity. This week, emergency registration of the single-dose Cansino vaccine was requested.
“Covaxin has also requested, in the past, to register the vaccine, and it is possible that Anvisa will talk about Covaxin and so we will have a boost of 20 million contracted doses.”
But he admits that some states and municipalities have already put pressure on the health system. According to him, the ministry is already preparing to ensure an adequate supply of intubation kits. The minister stated that the government, through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), has purchased 4.5 million items of the intubation kit from the United States, 800,000 of which have already been delivered.
The minister said, “Some states and municipalities have already identified pressures on the health system, and this is reflected in the openness that has been granted in these states,” noting that there is an increase in access to hospital oxygen. “Oxygen is also something that always matters to us. White Martins imported 14 vehicles, and this will boost the distribution of these strategic inputs if there is a new pressure on Brazil’s health system.”
Regarding the Indian type of coronavirus identified in Maranhão, Kiruga stated that the cases are isolated and monitored by the ministry’s Health Surveillance Minister.
“Unfortunately, we have cases in Maranhão that were discovered using the Indian alternative. Six patients were detected. Yesterday (Thursday) I spoke early with Mr. Carlos Lula, Minister of Health in Maranhão, who was working in partnership with the Minister of Health Surveillance. These cases are isolated and hopefully. There should be sufficient self-control so that this alternative does not lead to progress in the country. “
The minister also said that the data indicated that the Pfizer vaccine is effective against the Indian variant, but stressed that in this case, RT-PCR tests, which have a “gold standard”, must be performed to determine the strain.
There is already data indicating that this variant is sensitive to the Pfizer vaccine. Of course, everything is very new and we need to continue our monitoring process by running tests, especially RT-PCR, which enables the virus to be recognized more appropriately, the minister added.
On Friday, the minister announced the plan to conduct 26 million antigen tests per month in the country. This type of scan is faster than RT-PCR, but its reliability is lower. According to a government source accompanying the case, at the moment, there are no further guidance to what is already in the decree posted on May 14, regarding the suspension of flights from India. However, weekly meetings are held between various stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Health and Anvisa, to follow up and monitor the matter, including new facts.
The file did not clarify if there was a containment plan, but said it would maintain preventive and tracking measures to prevent the spread of the B.1.617.2 strain across the country, as it did with P1, discovered in Manaus. To date, the government has not recorded a local transmission of the Indian variant.
Maranhão is tracking 100 people who have been in contact with the six infected crew members. “The Ministry of Health maintains an ongoing dialogue with the National Monitoring, Alert and Response Network (CIEVS), which includes state and municipal health administrators, to clarify all necessary measures, such as monitoring and isolating the crew and people who have been in contact with cases of novel coronavirus infection on board the ship anchored in Maranhão. “.
Given the high rate of transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies the new variable as a “global concern”. The high number of deaths and confirmed cases contributed to the progression of the epidemic in the country, which is facing the collapse of the health system and the scarcity of beds, supplies and medicines.
There is a fear that the worsening crisis in India could impede the sending of the bunkers to Brazil. According to Chancellor Carlos Franca, in a conversation with parliamentarians, the Brazilian government is seeking to release 8 million suspended doses – out of 12 million doses Brazil received – from the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, which is produced by the Serum Institute.