On Tuesday night, the Ministry of Health of the Nation reported that during the last 24 hours 151 deaths and 11,650 new positive cases of COVID-19 had been registered. With these data, the total number of infected amounts to 1,602,163 and the fatalities total 43,018.
The reported figure was the highest number of infections since November 13. The arrival of the hot season and mass events where prevention measures such as social distance and the correct use of a mask were not respected they formed a kind of explosive combo that directly impacted COVID-19 cases.
Argentina has been in particular for ten months with the virus circulating to a greater or lesser extent, but as happened in Europe after the arrival of high temperatures, the relaxation of the population with the measures to prevent contagion began to be noticed.
Are we facing the dreaded regrowth? For Angela Gentile, infectologist, pediatrician and epidemiologist, head of Epidemiology at the Ricardo Gutiérrez Children’s Hospital, Argentina is undoubtedly facing an outbreak: “The increase in cases is very frank. The downward curve did not reach the level we expected. The behavior of the community that began to be seen in December did not help the cause, so without a doubt we are facing a re-growth ”.
In this sense, Gabriela Piovano, infectologist at the Hospital Muñiz, the first part of the disease in Argentina has not yet finished: “The numbers that were falling, the intensive therapies that were recently running out, began to be occupied again. We could probably define it as a regrowth if everything continues along the same lines ”.
For the medical specialist in internal medicine and infectology, Maria Fernanda Rombini (MN 97087), there is a clear worrying increase in cases: “Although we never reached the number 0 of infections, we had a plateau of decreasing cases. In the last few days, the rules have been relaxed. Between the marches, clandestine parties, weekend trips, among others. We are rapidly reaching the highest numbers we have seen for months. It is time to act with the utmost rigor the norms and protect our elders ”.
Identifying cases and tracing close contacts remains the main strategy that, according to Gentile, to travel this regrowth in good conditions. “We must continue to work hard in each jurisdiction. Despite having started vaccination, we are far from having a number of vaccinated that can reverse this situation.”, He emphasized.
Para Piovano, yes continues the trend of increases in cases it would not be unreasonable to think about going back with the easing: “Obviously we think that If this situation persists that if intensive therapies are replenished and the number of cases does not decrease, we will have to go back so as not to compromise the health system”.
Vaccination in Argentina, the beginning of a long road
Throughout the country, and simultaneously, on Tuesday the operation began to vaccinate a part of the Argentine population (health personnel) against the coronavirus with the first dose of 300,000 Sputnik V vaccines. However, the number of vaccinated would be too low to consider immediate herd immunity.
Regarding Argentina’s agreements with Russia, the Minister of Health Ginés González García announced that in January the country will receive 5 million more doses. And that in February they will add 14 million doses of Sputnik V, with a purchase option of 5 million more if it is necessary to reinforce the batch of vaccines. All this will total 19.3 million vaccines as of February, with the option of reach 24.3 million doses to fully immunize 12.1 million Argentines.
The truth is the percentage of people who must have antibodies to achieve herd immunity against a given disease varies in each case. For example, to achieve herd immunity against measles it is necessary to vaccinate approximately 95% of a population. The other 5% will be protected because measles will not spread among vaccinated people. In the case of polio, the threshold is approximately 80%. In the case of the new coronavirus, the necessary immunity would be 60%.
The truth is that everything seems to indicate that the social distancing, the use of a mask and hand hygiene they will remain for a long time among the population, since, although the vaccine is approved in a short term, the distribution of the candidates will take a long time.
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Coronavirus cases rose again: they confirmed 151 deaths and 11,650 new infections in the last 24 hours
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