According to the minister, the epidemiological basis of the decision is justified on three points:
- the significant drop in cases and deaths due to Covid in the last 15 days;
- the broad vaccination coverage of the population: more than 70% have already completed the vaccination schedule with two doses and more than 77 million people have already received the booster dose (equivalent to about 39% of the population);
- the ability of SUS to address not only Covid-19 cases, but also the prevalent diseases that were neglected during Covid-19 peak periods.
Queiroga also cited the Brazilian epidemiological and genomic surveillance capacity as another sanitary basis to declare the end of Covid as a national public health emergency.
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“I want to emphasize that no public health policy will be interrupted,” said the minister.
“Covid is not over and it will not end, and we need to live with this disease and this virus. Fortunately, it seems that the virus has lost its strength, it has lost its lethality, and each day we see a closer post-pandemic period everyone,” he said.
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The minister also added that “it is not the role of the Ministry of Health to end the pandemic”. He commented on the concern of the World Health Organization (WHO) with the relaxation of measures to combat Covid-19 in several countries (see details below).
“The World Health Organization analyzes the international context and we, here, analyze the national context”, declared Queiroga.
In March, Brazil registered 10,417 deaths from Covid-19according to a survey by the consortium of press vehicles – a drop of more than 50% compared to Februarywhen the number had reached more than 22 thousand deaths.
WHO still considers disease an international public health emergency
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it still considered Covid an international public health emergency.
The decision, by WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, followed the opinion of the entity’s emergencies committee. The committee recognized that the Sars-CoV-2the cause of Covid, continues to have an “unpredictable” evolutionaggravated by its wide circulation and intense transmission in humans” and in other species.
Experts noted with concern the fact that some member countries have relaxed behavioral and public health measures to slow transmission of the virus.