Vaccines bring optimism as COVID cases soar in South America

Healthcare providers give Pfizer COVID-19 pill supplement to children at Paul Harris School in Santiago, Chile, Friday, May 13, 2022. Credit: AP Photo / Esteban Felix

After months of delays, COVID-19 cases have been confirmed to increase in South America. But officials in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay hope more vaccines mean this new violence will not be as deadly as the previous one.

At the same time, there are fears that many people are not ready to take the precautionary measures that authorities say are needed to ensure that the trials continue.

Crimes increase frequently over a period of weeks, most energetically by the BA.2 version of the omicron variant. In Chile, the number of confirmed cases per week doubled at the end of May compared to the beginning of the month. In Argentina, the number of cases increased by 146 percent, while in Uruguay there was an increase of almost 200 percent.

Although the number of positive tests is much lower than in previous waves, experts say the increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is a reminder that the disease is far from over.

Argentina’s Health Minister Carla Vizzotti said Argentina had recently launched “COVID-19 for the fourth time” while in Chile, Health Minister Begoña Yarza described the current situation as “an epidemic” and in Uruguay, President Luis Lacalle. Pou, said he was “worried” and called on everyone to “be careful.”

The countries are part of a wider regional climate as tensions mount across the continent.

“COVID is on the rise again in the United States,” said Carissa Etienne, president of the Pan American Board of Health, during an online press conference last week.

For many residents of the area, overdose means suddenly rethinking the coronavirus.

“There were a lot of complaints in my family after my birthday last week,” said Marina Barroso, 40, at a test center in Buenos Aires. “A lot of cases really got shot.”

The increase in cases has not yet changed to a large number of hospitals and deaths. Officials are praising number of vaccines in the region as over 80% of the population of the three countries have received at least two doses.

Claudia Salgueira, president of the Argentine Infectious Diseases Association (SADI), said: “We are in a different situation with the previous wave since most of the population is getting vaccinated.”

In Uruguay, the number of beds in the intensive care unit occupied by patients doubled, from 1.5 percent at the beginning of the month to slightly more than 3 percent in mid-May.

“Obviously, mathematically we have doubled the cases but we are still talking about small numbers,” said Julio Pontet, president of the Uruguayan Medical Association, which heads the intensive care unit at Pasteur Hospital in Montevideo. “What protects us from bad things is our high level of prevention.”

In previous waves, there has been a tug-of-war between the hospital and the hospital “and it looks like something will happen now,” said Felipe Elorrieta, a physicist at the University of Santiago. “The death toll is still low.”

Chile is beneficial because it enjoys the highest level of immunization in the region and the highest number of stimuli in the world with over 80 percent of the population having at least a third, he said.

Chile has managed to get such a large percentage of its population to get more shots by making life difficult for those who escape the shooting.

As of June, Chile will block the “pass pass” of any adult who has received the first shot more than six months ago and has not received a second shot. Without permits, Chileans are not allowed to go to restaurants, bars or to attend major events.

In some parts of the region, some have warned that the vaccination campaign has not been carried out because of how many people have not yet received additional support.

“There is a large percentage of people who do not get enough vaccines, only four million people have one vaccine, only 10 million have two and there is a group that does not have any,” said Hugo Pizzi, a specialist in chronic diseases. diffusion. He is a professor at the School of Medicine at Cordoba National University in Argentina. “There is a sense of indifference among the public that is frustrating.”

Adriana Valladares, a 41-year-old businesswoman in Buenos Aires, says growing things will not change the way she lives.

“I have three doses so I feel safe,” she said. “I was really scared of this virus but now I know a lot of people who have contracted it and are in good health.”

Some find that it is not as easy as it used to be.

“There is a huge increase in cases but they are not tested anywhere,” said José Sabarto in Avellaneda, Buenos Aires province. Sabarto said his daughter was infected with COVID and a relative wanted to be tested but found it difficult to identify test centers.

It is important for infrastructure testing to be “maintained and strengthened,” Etienne said.

She added, “The truth is, this virus will not go away.”

Chile has launched its fourth vaccine as coronavirus infections increase

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