A survey carried out by the Union of Hospitals, Clinics and Laboratories of São Paulo (SindHosp) and published this Sunday (16) showed that 55% of state laboratories have enough Covid-19 test stock for less than seven days.
Another 22% have the resources to meet 15 to 21 days of demand, and 16% for 8 to 14 days. Only 6% of labs predict that the stock will last longer than 21 days.
The poll also showed that 88% of hospital managers at 111 private laboratories reported difficulty acquiring Influenza and Covid-19 tests.
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In addition, 99% of them had increased testing for Covid-19 in the last 15 days. In 92% of locations, the increase in demand was up to 100%. Despite this, 8% of laboratories reported an increase in demand from 101% to 1000% in the last fortnight.
Customers of laboratories in the metropolitan area have reported delays in test results for Covid-19 in recent weeks. According to patients interviewed by the g1, reports that should be available in 2 days are taking up to 5 days to come out. The Brazilian Association of Diagnostic Medicine (Abramed) said that what explains the delays is the high demand for exams.
Blood test tubes for Covid-19 testing in Sorocaba, in the state of São Paulo — Photo: Cadu Rolim/Estadão Content
On Wednesday (12), Abramed warned that tests for the diagnosis of Covid-19 in Brazil may end up lacking supplies. The association’s recommendation is that laboratories prioritize testing in critically ill patients, health workers and other essential professionals.
The shortage of tests also hit the city of São Paulo. This Saturday, the City of São Paulo announced that testing for Covid-19 and Influenza will only be intended for people in the risk group. THE diagnosis for the general public will be made clinically, that is, through the assessment of symptoms by health professionals, and without performing a laboratory test
City Hall restricts testing
The mayor, Ricardo Nunes (MDB), said that the change in the testing protocol of the municipal network happened due to the lack of tests in the market.
“I have already instructed the health secretary so that he can purchase all the necessary amount. No problem regarding the financial issue, but it is lacking in the market. We have a number of tests that are being used in situations of need for hospitalization We depend on the manufacturer to provide it. If there are enough tests, we will offer them”, said Nunes.
São Paulo changes protocol for testing cases of flu syndrome
The new priority guidance applies to hospital units, Outpatient Medical Assistance (AMAs), Basic Health Units (UBSs), Integrated AMA/UBS, Emergency Care Units (UPAs) and emergency rooms (HPs).
Belong to the risk group:
- people not vaccinated or with only one dose of vaccine;
- pregnant and postpartum women;
- individuals with comorbidities;
- Health professionals;
- homeless population.
For this public, whoever presents two or more flu-like symptoms will be submitted to RT-PCR or rapid antigen test, according to availability.
According to the Municipal Health Department, after the diagnosis, the group will be monitored by telephone and the clinical conditions will be analyzed for seven days. An oximeter and guidance on worsening symptoms should also be provided. If there is clinical worsening, the patient should be referred to the emergency network.
The state of São Paulo notified, in January, proportionally fewer new Covid-19 cases than there were before the data blackout Ministry of Health. The same did not occur with other populous states.. The drop in proportion gives evidence that the data currently released by the state does not show all cases of Covid registered in the SUS systems.
The only other state in which the same divergence was verified, among the six most populous is Bahia, which admitted problems in extracting data of the Ministry of Health’s systems in its latest epidemiological bulletin.
Progress of the pandemic in the world worries experts
From the beginning of the pandemic until December 10, 2021 – the date when the Ministry of Health’s data blackout began -, the state of São Paulo had 4.4 million of confirmed cases of Covid, which represents 20% of the country’s total in the same period (22.1 million). The percentage of cases corresponds to the total percentage of the population of the state in relation to the population of the country, which is also 20%.
In the period from December 11, 2021 until this Wednesday (12), the state of SP only notified 33,347 new cases, which represents 6.3% of the total of 532,943 registered in the country.
According to researcher Márcio Bittencourt, master in public health and professor at the University of Pittsburgh, the abrupt drop in the proportion of the state of São Paulo within the total number of cases raises suspicions of problems in the data. For him, the increase in hospitalizations shows that government cases are below the real number.
“Just look at hospitalizations in the state, which are increasing: there is a lot of case missing[inthebalancesheetofthegovernmentofSãoPaulo”Bittencourtsaid[nobalançodogovernodeSãoPaulo”disseBittencourt
For Paulo Inácio Prado, researcher at the Covid-BR Observatory and at the USP Biology Institute, the change in the proportion of cases in SP “is a strong indication of a problem in the consolidation of data made by the state”.
“It is very serious that the official data of the most populous state in Brazil raises this doubt, without an explanation yet”, said Prado.