Understand what may change with the end of the Covid-19-related emergency in Brazil | coronavirus

The decision marks the end of measures imposed at the beginning of the pandemicbut not the end of the pandemic itself, this is the responsibility of the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • UNDERSTAND: Pandemic x endemic and the debate on changing status
  • Pandemic vs endemic: what experts say

According to Queiroga, a “normative act” will still be edited “in the coming days” that will explain exactly what measures will be adapted after the end of the declaration.

With the end of the public health emergency, the Ministry of Health estimates that more than 2,000 standards will fall across the country, such as the possibility of buy medicines and medical supplies without bidding.

In this report, see in 7 points what is and what can change with the end of the emergency:

  1. What is a Public Health Emergency of National Concern?
  2. When does the health emergency end?
  3. Why was the sanitary measure created?
  4. Isolation, quarantine and vaccination: what does Espin say?
  5. What led to the end of the state of health emergency?
  6. What do the experts say?
  7. What is the difference between a pandemic and an endemic?

Elderly woman takes vaccine against Covid-19 in Juiz de Fora – Photo: Juiz de Fora City Hall/Disclosure

The state of “Public Health Emergency of National Importance”, also called Espin, is considered the maximum risk level of the disease in Brazil.

It came into effect in February 2020, just days after the WHO declared an international public health emergency.

The rule allowed the federal government and state and municipal governments to take a series of measures, such as the mandatory use of masks and emergency authorization for vaccines.

The WHO has not yet reassessed the international emergency situation. And there is no deadline for that. But each country can decide on its situation based on the epidemiological situation of their territory.

understand what it means "public health emergency of national importance"

Understand what “public health emergency of national importance” means

2. When does the health emergency end?

TV Globo found out that, with a new ordinance, the government can establish a period of 30 to 90 daysfor public bodies to adapt.

In other words, the rules in force today would not immediately lose their validity. And some could be extended.

The Ministry of Health asked Anvisa, for example, to authorize the maintenance, for up to one year, of the emergency use of some products to combat Covid-19, such as the CoronaVac vaccine.

3. Why was the sanitary measure created?

The sanitary measure was created to reduce bureaucracy for temporary hiring of health professionals, acquisition of goods and contracting of services.

With it, the exemption of bidding was foreseen and the importation of products without registration in the National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance (Anvisa) was authorized.

Among the rules that could be affected with the end of the state of “national health emergency” are, for example, the use of masks, teleworking, and the regulation of telemedicine.

Mogi vaccinates elderly people aged 65 and over against flu and Covid-19 — Photo: Disclosure/PMMC

4. Isolation, quarantine and vaccination: what does Espin say?

The rules applied under the state of “national health emergency” regulated isolation, quarantine, and the compulsory performance of medical examinations and vaccination.

In addition, the regulations authorized the application of medicines and vaccines for emergency use and the possibility of restricting entry and exit from the country.

It is not clear, until the last update of this report, how the decrees and measures can be achieved independently.

5. What led to the end of the state of health emergency?

In his speech, the minister said that with the high vaccination rate in the country – with about 73% of the population vaccinated – in addition to an improvement in the epidemiological scenario, it was possible to decree the end of Espin.

In March, the minister had said that it was I need at least three factors for its revocation:

  1. Favorable epidemiological scenario, with a drop in cases and deaths
  2. Structure of the hospital system, especially in open ICUs
  3. Access to effective drugs against Covid-19 in the initial phase

Queiroga reiterated, however, that the end of the state of emergency does not mean the end of the pandemic – and he did not even mention the possibility of considering Covid-19 an endemic disease in Brazil.

6. Not the best time, according to experts

Experts estimate that, despite the recent reduction in infections, this is not yet the best time to revoke the public health emergency ordinance in Brazil.

The pulmonologist and researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) Margareth Dalcolmo told TV Globo that the measure is rhetorical.

“I think that this rhetoric, so to speak, of ending the health emergency by decree is not yet adequate in Brazil,” said Dalcolmo.

One of the experts’ concerns is that the end of the emergency will end the requirement for a vaccination passport to enter certain places.

Gonzalo Vecina, former president of Anvisa and a health doctor, advises Brazilians to maintain care and prevention measures, such as washing their hands and wearing masks in crowded places.

“It is essential that hygienic measures continue to apply to us individually. It is a civilizing measure that each of us has to take,” said the expert.

Person walks with a protective mask against Covid-19 in hand. — Photo: ALOISIO MAURICIO/FOTOARENA/ESTADÃO CONTEÚDO

7. What is the difference between a pandemic and an endemic?

Last month, the Minister of Health even talked about downgrading from a pandemic to an endemic disease, as did President Jair Bolsonaro.

Endemic is the status of recurrent, typical diseases that occur frequently in a given region, but for which the population and health services are already prepared.

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