Government criticizes ‘vaccination passport’ but will require 5-day quarantine for unvaccinated travelers | Policy

The federal government announced this Tuesday (7) that it will request a five-day quarantine for unvaccinated travelers who leave other countries and land in Brazil. According to the government, the idea is to promote a “reopening of borders” due to the current rates of vaccination of the Brazilian population.

The statement by ministers Ciro Nogueira (Casa Civil) and Marcelo Queiroga (Health) was marked by strong criticism of the recommendations for a “vaccine passport” and more rigidity in the demand for vaccination.

But, in practice, according to technicians from Anvisa interviewed by TV Globo, the new protocol announced by the government seems to meet the recommendations that have been made, for more than a month, by the regulatory agency and specialists.

In the speech, Queiroga and Nogueira made no mention of the requirement for a “vaccine passport”. Two measures were announced:

  • demand negative RT-PCR test, performed up to 72 hours before, for passengers coming from abroad and arriving in Brazil;
  • demand five-day quarantine for unvaccinated individuals arriving in the country, followed by an RT-PCR test. If the result is negative, the passenger is released to transit on Brazilian soil.

Queiroga announces two measures for passengers arriving in the country

Queiroga announces two measures for passengers arriving in the country

The ad maintains the rules that were already in place for vaccinated passengers (requirement for a negative test and health declaration) and adds this five-day quarantine for unvaccinated passengers. The protocol update has not yet been published in the “Official Gazette”.

  • ‘Better to lose life than freedom’, says Queiroga; see phrase and measure analysis

In a note after the statement, Anvisa stated that “it awaits the publication of the new ordinance on updating the exceptional and temporary measures for entry into the country as a way of confronting Covid-19” – that is, that it does not know the content of the new ordinance.

According to Ana Flor’s blog on g1, Palácio do Planalto only sought out the regulatory agency to ask for help in drafting the new rules after the end of the pronouncement.

Until now, to enter Brazil, all travelers (Brazilian or foreign) needed to present only the Traveler’s Health Declaration (DSV), which can be filled out on the Anvisa website, and a negative RT-PCR exam performed up to 72 hours before of boarding.

“It is necessary to defend individual freedoms, respect the rights of Brazilians to freely access public health policies. And that is how it is, as Minister Ciro Nogueira said [Casa Civil], which we have already managed to immunize with the two doses about 80% of the Brazilian population over 14 years of age, our population that is vaccinated, more than 175 million inhabitants”, declared the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga.

g1 questioned the Ministry of Health and Anvisa, but the bodies have not yet responded:

  • how and where the screening between vaccinated and non-vaccinated will be carried out;
  • what is the difference between this screening and the “vaccination passport” recommended by Anvisa;
  • how the referral and monitoring of the quarantine of the unvaccinated will be carried out.

Queista: "we respect individual freedoms"

Queiroga: “we respect individual freedoms”

Despite having announced measures that, in theory, are similar to the “vaccine passport” advocated by experts, Minister Marcelo Queiroga devoted most of his speech to criticizing the requirement of vaccination for Brazilians and foreigners.

“So, this fight against the pandemic, it does not just concern a so-called ‘passport’ that creates more discord than consensus. It is necessary to defend individual freedoms, respect the rights of Brazilians to freely access public health policies”, said Queiroga .

The minister said that it would not be possible to “discriminate against people” who were not vaccinated because immunization does not completely prevent transmission.

“So, it is not possible to discriminate between vaccinated and unvaccinated people in order to impose restrictions thereafter. Even science already knows that vaccines do not completely prevent the transmission of the virus. Ideally, they would, we would already have the problem resolved in Brazil. Unfortunately, it does not prevent it. People can, even if vaccinated, acquire the disease and can transmit it,” he said.

“The president [Jair Bolsonaro] just now he said: sometimes it is better to lose your life than to lose your freedom. We are not here wanting to do any kind of ‘polemization’, but they are fundamental rights and they have the same importance and our commitment is to that, it is to life, to freedom, it is to the implementation of public health policies” , completed.

Anvisa and specialists around the world recognize, since the beginning of the worldwide vaccination against Covid, that doses are not 100% effective. The World Health Organization (WHO), however, has been reaffirming that there is no reason to doubt vaccines, including those against the omicron variant, and that they are a fundamental instrument for ending the pandemic.

WHO defends set of measures

In the statement, Queiroga stated that the WHO itself had taken a stand against the closing of borders to stop the spread of the coronavirus and the omicron variant.

“We met several times to seek an adequate decision-making process. The World Health Organization (WHO) itself, regarding the omicron variant […] It has already spoken out in this regard, saying of the responsibility it should have by imposing restrictions on citizens who eventually did not take their doses of vaccine,” said Queiroga.

“It is not possible to discriminate between vaccinated and unvaccinated people in order to impose restrictions thereafter. Even because it is already known that unfortunately the vaccine does not prevent transmission”, continued the minister.

The minister did not present, however, the entire argument defended by the WHO. The organization also called on countries to increase the capacity of their health services and vaccinate their population to combat the increase in cases caused by the omicron variant.

The organization also said that travel restrictions can buy time, but that alone is not the answer.

“THE [variante] delta is responsible for 99% of infections worldwide,” said WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan. “It would have to be more transmissible to compete and become dominant across the world. It’s possible, but difficult to predict.”

Passport for other vaccines is mandatory in several situations in the country

Passport for other vaccines is mandatory in several situations in the country

Requirement is ‘collar’, says Bolsonaro

Shortly before the ministers’ speech, president Jair Bolsonaro stated at a ceremony at the Planalto Palace that the vaccine passport, adopted in other countries, would be a “leash” for the population.

“We see a huge fight here now about the vaccine passport. Who is in favor, don’t forget: tomorrow someone can impose something on you that you are not favorable. And we ask: can those who take the vaccine contract the virus? You can and will. Can it transmit? Yes and it does. Can it die? Yes, it can, as many people have died, unfortunately. We ask: why the vaccination passport? Why this collar they want to put on the Brazilian people? “, he asked.

Earlier in the morning, the president distorted Anvisa’s proposal for the vaccine passport, saying that the agency was suggesting “close the airspace” of Brazil. Sought, the agency denied having made this proposal.

On the last day, Anvisa reinforced the recommendation sent to the Civil House for Brazil to adopt stricter measures in the access of travelers to the country in order to avoid an increase in Covid-19 cases after the discovery of the omicron variant.

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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