The Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, admitted on Thursday night that there is a third wave of cases of covid-19 in Brazil due to the advancement of the Ômicron variant.
“Let’s observe the behavior of the evolution of cases, naturally there is an increase in cases because of Ômicron, this can be considered a third wave”, said Queiroga, in a press conference at the exit of the ministry.
The minister said that it is necessary to wait for developments in the next three weeks to see if there will be an increase in pressure on the health system with more hospitalizations, also warning that there has also been an outbreak of influenza.
Still, Queiroga highlighted that Brazil currently has a population that has already been heavily exposed to the virus and that has also been vaccinated, in addition to which there are still 20 million booster doses that have been distributed.
“I hope that we can have a better outcome in relation to less pressure on the health system and that the number of people who die from this disease is not so great”, he said, considering that he hopes for a similar evolution of the variant in the country. to what happened in Spain, where, despite the increase in the number of cases, there was no increase in deaths.
In the interview, Queiroga confirmed that the ministry asked the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) for authorization for the use of covid-19 self-tests. According to him, the measure aims to expand the diagnosis of the disease, amid a widespread shortage of PCR and antigen tests.
In recent days, the country has broken records of cases of notifications by covid.
According to the minister, the tests will be sold in pharmacies and each unit should guide customers on how to carry them out. He also said that industries must provide tutorials for notification of results on their platform and that pharmacies will be responsible for this notification.
In a statement, the ministry said that among the justifications for adopting the measure are the possibility of expanding testing for symptomatic, asymptomatic and possible contacts; conduct tests before meeting indoors with others; not to overload health services, which are already far beyond the limit of their capacity to provide care and for people to come out of isolation, after a negative result and without symptoms.
Sought, Anvisa reported that so far it has not registered in the system the receipt of the technical note from the Ministry of Health.