Omicron advance forces São Paulo to open new beds for Covid | National Journal

The dizzying increase in cases of the omicron variant forced the city of São Paulo to open new beds for Covid. And this pressure also affects other capitals.

Omicron has taken more Brazilians to ICU beds in the public network in recent weeks. In the Federal District, for example, the occupancy rate reached 100% this Tuesday (25). According to a survey by the Department of Health, 90% of those hospitalized have not been vaccinated or are not fully immunized.

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In Campo Grande, the rate reaches 93%; in Goiânia, 90%; Teresina is close to 82%; in Natal, it is more than 75%; In Curitiba, it is at 75%; and in São Paulo, the average occupancy is 72%. This Tuesday, the Municipal Health Department of the capital opened another 132 beds, 82 of them in the ICU.

Doctors were already warning of the risk of hospitals being full again. It’s just that the omicron variant is much more transmissible. It’s a math question. The country has been experiencing an explosion of cases. That is, even if the proportion of hospitalized patients is lower now, we are talking about a part of thousands of people infected every day, which can make the health system reach its limit..

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Researcher Diego Xavier, from Fiocruz, does the math: “If we took, for example, in the case of Delta, a hospitalization rate of 10% and we counted 100,000 cases, we would have 10,000 hospitalizations. In the case of the omicron, if we take a volume of cases of 1 million and a hospitalization rate of 1%, we also have 10 thousand hospitalizations.”

Brazil has currently recorded the highest daily averages of cases of the entire pandemic. In the graph, the line resembles a wall, which represents the rapid and sudden growth of contamination.

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If we had prepared ourselves, if we had understood the seriousness of the problem, many of the people who are queuing to be seen today would, yes, be receiving adequate care.”, says Diego Xavier.

Sanitary doctor Walter Cintra, a professor at FGV, says that just opening beds is not enough.

“If contamination levels continue at this speed, we will hardly be able, even by expanding beds, to handle the pandemic. Those who have not been vaccinated have to vaccinate themselves, and have to maintain isolation measures, use of mask, hand hygiene and, above all, avoid agglomerations. This is not the time for us to let our guard down,” she says.

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