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Covid-19 is already endemic, says Rio health secretary

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SÃO PAULO, SP (FOLHAPRESS) – The municipal health secretary of Rio de Janeiro, Daniel Soranz, said this Friday (11) that Covid-19 can already be considered an endemic disease and that it is unlikely that be eradicated. The city has abolished virtually all restrictive measures to prevent the disease, including the use of masks in enclosed settings, and only maintains the requirement for a vaccination passport for access to enclosed settings. The information comes from Agência Brasil.

“We can already consider the Covid-19 pandemic as an endemic disease, a disease that will be present over time,” Soranz said, in an interview with Agência Brasil and Rádio Nacional in Rio de Janeiro.

The secretary was at the headquarters of the Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC), in Rio de Janeiro, to participate in the television news program Repórter Rio, on TV Brasil, and commented on the decision taken this week which freed the use masks in all closed places in the city. .

“The pandemic has now become an endemic disease. It will remain so for a very long time. If no new variants appear, as happened with the Ômicron variant, we will have a scenario of much more normality in the coming days” , told reporter Rio.

The Covid-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization two years ago on March 11, 2020, and experts explain that while local governments can withdraw restrictive measures, only the organization can declare the end of the pandemic.

booster dose

Despite the positive expectation regarding the epidemiological scenario, the secretary appealed for the 670,000 cariocas who see their booster dose delayed to apply for the posts to complete the vaccination schedule.

“What we know today is that vaccinated people have a very low risk of becoming seriously ill and dying, but it is important for them to know that vaccine protection does not last forever, it lasts a certain time. dose with at least four months must do the booster, it is essential for this protection”, he explained. “We have seen that the booster dose protects a lot, it has a much higher protective capacity than the second dose. Our appeal is to the cariocas”.

Soranz also said Rio has achieved a positivity rate of just 1.4% in Covid-19 tests, meaning there are on average less than two in 100 positive tests performed. Additionally, the city has a transmission rate of 0.31, which indicates that 100 cases of Covid-19 transmit the disease to only 31, causing the number of infected to decrease.

Despite everything, the town hall’s concern is for people who have not completed the vaccination schedule or who have not been vaccinated. The vaccination passport requirement should not be suspended until the city reaches 70% of the adult population with the booster dose. Currently, the percentage is 55%.

“[Algumas pessoas] fall seriously ill and many require hospital services. So we really need them to keep getting vaccinated, to believe in the vaccine, and to keep protecting their lives and those around them,” he said.

carnival crowds

As the scenario of lower cases has remained even with the agglomerations registered for the carnival, the Secretary of Health hopes that the parades in Marquês de Sapucaí, scheduled for April, will go ahead without problems.

“The carnival was not a problem on the original date, even with the agglomerations, and we hope that the carnival of Sapucaí will take place normally, that people will be able to be happy again, to be together and to return a little to the way of being carioca,” he said. “With this favorable epidemiological scenario, we are very confident that it can be done [o carnaval]as long as the cariocas continue to be vaccinated and take the booster dose,” he stressed.

Although practically all restrictive measures have been suspended in the city, Daniel Soranz believes that they could return if a new variant changes the epidemiological scenario. He pointed out that there is still no evidence that an increase in cases could be caused by the Deltacron variant, detected abroad, and drew the attention of researchers because it combines the characteristics of the Delta and Omicron.

“We must always monitor any change in the scenario in Brazil and in the world, and, if necessary, modify the restrictive measures. But, at the moment, we have a very positive scenario, of permanent decline”, he concluded. .

Posted on Fri Mar 11 2022 3:16:00 PM -0300

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