Federal government announces end of public health emergency of covid-19 in Brazil

The Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, announced on the night of this Sunday, 17, the end of the Public Health Emergency of National Importance (Espin) of covid-19, decreed in February 2020 by the federal government. In the coming days, the ministry will edit an act regulating the decision, annulling the ordinance that anchored the measures to combat the new coronavirus in the country.

The announcement was made by Queiroga on national radio and TV, two years after Brazil registered the first case of covid. The minister attributed the decision to the drop in the rates of the disease and the reach of vaccination in the country, which reached 73% of the population. He pondered that the change does not mean the end of the new coronavirus pandemic and that it is still necessary to remain “vigilant”.

“Thanks to the improvement in the epidemiological scenario, the broad vaccination coverage of the population and the SUS assistance capacity, today we are able to announce the end of the Public Health Emergency of National Importance, Espin”, said the minister. The speech lasted about three minutes. Until Saturday, 16, Brazil recorded 662,011 deaths and 30,248,082 cases of the disease.

As Coluna do Estadão revealed, that the minister was choosing the words of the pronouncement with Bolsonaro and allies. President Jair Bolsonaro already wanted an end to the emergency in the country, but Queiroga was advised by ministers, especially after the demand of states and municipalities, to start a transition period.

The Public Health Emergency of National Importance (Espin) allows emergency use of vaccines, purchases of inputs without bidding and other rules. In total, 172 rules of the Ministry of Health could be impacted with the end of the emergency. The federal government will have to edit a rule so as not to cause a legal vacuum with the decision.

“This measure, however, does not mean the end of covid-19. We will continue to live with the virus. The Ministry of Health remains vigilant and prepared to adopt all necessary actions to guarantee the health of Brazilians in full respect of the Federal Constitution” , said the head of the folder.

Regional governments claim that they need a transition period to buy medicines and, especially, the Coronavac vaccine, which still do not have the definitive registration with Anvisa.

The president of the National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass), Nésio Fernandes, told Broadcast that the end of the emergency period is to celebrate, but that this decision needs a transition period of 90 days.

“It is necessary to demonstrate to the population that the pandemic is not over yet. Otherwise, even more with the end of the use of mask, there will be the feeling that there are no more risks”, he said.

For him, with the drop in the number of hospitalizations and cases, the “moment is of joy”. “But we need a transition to evaluate the scenario for the second semester”, commented the president of Conass.

In this Sunday’s speech, Queiroga also took stock of the actions of the federal government in the pandemic and offered solidarity to the families of the victims.

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