COVID-19: understand how Deltacron and the outbreak in China can impact Brazil

China
COVID-19 numbers rise again in Asia and Europe (photo: AFP/Reproduction)

In recent weeks, the numbers of COVID-19 cases have risen again in some regions of the planet. In Asia and Europe, the scenario of the pandemic has once again worried specialists, who warn of the importance of preventive measures and flexibilization with caution.

The number of positive cases in Germany, the United Kingdom and France totaled more than 340 thousand, according to the latest survey by the platform ‘Our World in Data’, linked to the University of Oxford, published this Tuesday (15/3).

In China, the advance of the disease motivated the government’s decision to decree, yesterday, mandatory confinement for 30 million people.

O State of Mines listened to two specialists in infectology, who explained the possible impacts of the spread of the virus in China and Europe, as well as the new Deltacron strain. For both, a new wave in the country is still difficult to predict.

Deltacron: the new mixed variant of COVID-19

Two cases of the new strain, Deltacron, were recorded in Brazil: one in Par and one in Amap. The information was confirmed by the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, yesterday. So far, however, nothing indicates that the variant could cause significant impacts on the pandemic scenario in the country.
“This new variant, a mixture of micron and Delta, has a very low prevalence and this suggests that it is not very transmissible. The fact that there are few cases identified in the world makes it possible to say this”, explains Geraldo Cunha, professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and an infectious disease physician.
In general, according to the specialist, it is believed that it is a variant that has not produced severe forms of the disease.

To date, 47 cases of the strain have been reported worldwide, 36 of them in France alone.

“This is something that makes us feel a little more relaxed. She does not seem to present a great risk in the current directions of the pandemic”, he adds.

For Estevo Urbano, president of the Minas Gerais Society of Infectious Diseases and member of the Committee to Combat COVID-19 in Belo Horizonte, the arrival of Deltacron in Brazil and the outbreak in China do not indicate a possible new wave yet.

“Brazil has a slightly different scenario because it has a little more vaccinated and sick people than China”, he analyzes.

For Urbano, it is still too early to make any kind of statement. “What can worry us at this moment is if eventually this new variant can supplement the immunity generated by this large number of infections that were confirmed at the beginning of the year in Brazil”, he points out.

“We still need to research and understand the trend of the spread of this strain.”

restriction measures

Both experts believe that some states are rushing towards complete flexibility in the use of the mask, an essential accessory in the prevention of contagion.

“We have municipalities that are completely bewildered, like Rio de Janeiro, which released the mask everywhere. This is very premature and very risky”, defends Cunha.

For Urbano, the release of masks in open places is safe, but it is not yet time to relax measures in closed places.

“The most important thing now is to release, if necessary, only in open places. Everything else is still precipitated.”

In Belo Horizonte, the use of the accessory in open places has been allowed since the 4th. In Minas Gerais, Romeu Zema (Novo), state governor, announced this Saturday (12/3) that the use of the mask in open places more mandatory.

“The most important thing now is to release, if necessary, only in open places. Everything else is still precipitated”

Estevo Urbano, president of the Minas Gerais Society of Infectious Diseases and member of the Committee to Combat COVID-19 in Belo Horizonte

Europe: which countries recorded an increase in the number of cases?

The United Kingdom ended February with an average of 46,000 new cases per day. This Tuesday (3/15), the average exceeded 103 thousand. In England, in the last two weeks alone, 623,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

In France, with more than 800 thousand new cases since the beginning of the month, the numbers also indicate a state of alert. In addition, Austria, the Netherlands, Greece, Switzerland and Italy have registered an increase in the number of cases since the end of February.

In Germany, the scenario is even more worrying. In 15 days, the country recorded more than 2 million new cases. On the 28th, the average was 158,000 daily. Yesterday, the average number of positives for the disease reached 200,000.

“In Europe, and in the world in general, people who do not get vaccinated are subject to having severe forms of the disease. What we have observed, where you have a portion of the population in which the number of unvaccinated is very large, these rebounds of the disease become recurrent”, justifies Cunha, when analyzing the scenario of the pandemic in the European continent.

“This number of cases tends to increase episodically, including serious cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”

As for the number of admissions, the United Kingdom registered 12 thousand in the last survey published by ‘Our World in Data’, on the 6th of this month. About 2 thousand more cases compared to the end of February.

Switzerland, with 1,600 people hospitalized, and Ireland, with 662, also had a high number of hospitalizations. In France and Germany, despite the increase in positive cases, the number of hospitalizations has fallen since the 28th.

“In Europe and in the world in general, people who do not get vaccinated are liable to have severe forms of the disease”

Geraldo Cunha, professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and infectious disease physician

Asia: Rising numbers worry governments

In Asia, the numbers worry governments, which have taken severe measures to contain the spread of the virus and prevent a new wave.

Hong Kong recorded an average of 21,000 new cases a day, up 28% from early March.

In China, a total of 328,000 cases were recorded between February 28 and March 6, a record for the country. The number, however, is still lower than in most countries.

The outbreak caused the Chinese government to lock down some 30 million people in 13 different provinces. Mass population testing was also used as a strategy.

About Abhishek Pratap

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