Queiroga announces the end of the covid emergency in the country

The Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, announced this Sunday (Apr.

The change may cause rules linked to Espin’s validity to lose their validity. This could affect emergency authorizations granted to vaccines and drugs against covid-19, such as CoronaVac and Janssen, and even public purchases.

Watch Marcelo Queiroga’s speech (3min50s):

In his speech, the minister did not give details on how the measures linked to Espin are. Queiroga stated that a normative act should be edited in the “next days”regulating the decision.

“Thanks to the improvement in the epidemiological scenario, the broad vaccination coverage of the population, and the SUS assistance capacity, we are today able to announce the end of the Public Health Emergency of National Importance, Espin”, declared the minister.

Queiroga said that the measure 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 the necessary actions to guarantee the health of Brazilians, in full respect of the Federal Constitution”.

During the speech, the minister praised the work of the federal government in the pandemic. He said that the SUS (Unified Health System) was strengthened.

“I thank the doctors who, with the autonomy defended by the Federal Government, used the best of science in favor of patients, as well as all the health professionals, who tirelessly fought against this disease”.

On April 7, President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) said that the government should downgrade the status from a covid-19 pandemic to an endemic”in the next days”.

In fact, the WHO designated the disease caused by the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, 2020. This status continues. What the government did was to withdraw the state of emergency due to the spread of the disease decreed on February 4, 2020.

On April 1, the government published an ordinance that released the use of protective masks against covid-19 in the States.

In an interview with Power360, On March 31, 2022, Anvisa’s CEO, Antonio Barra Torres, declared that the health agency was working so that vaccines and medicines approved against covid-19, but on an emergency basis, continue to be used.

Under the laws passed during the pandemic, the emergency use of vaccines and medicines against covid-19 lasts as long as the public health emergency of national importance arising from the coronavirus is valid.

Barra Torres said that the pandemic is an unprecedented situation in which public bodies should not have a “cold interpretation” of legislation. “We have to see that there are lives that we need to preserve”.

Queiroga said, on March 30, that he has the “BIC pen” to determine the end of the covid-19 pandemic, but that it must use it in a “appropriate”.

“It is true that I have the BIC pen, which President Bolsonaro gave me, but I have to use this pen properly”, he said. The statement was given during the launch of the ministry’s Integrity Plan 2022-2023.

In an interview with Power 360 on March 24, the president of Conass (National Council of Health Secretaries), Nésio Fernandes, said that the end of the state of emergency will bring difficulties for the acquisition of vaccines and medicines. He also stated that it could put obstacles in the way of a series of faster measures to be taken by States against the pandemic. If this is done, he says, the agility of the response to an eventual new wave of the pandemic is compromised.

He argues that the Ministry of Health should expect a stabilization of at least 60 days in the indices of covid, such as mortality and incidence rates, in addition to a transition plan.

“Right now, the conditions for this are not in place. [levantar o estado de emergência]. [A medida] communicates a perception to the population that the pandemic is over, and this is not”, says Fernandes, who is a public health doctor and secretary of Health in Espírito Santo.

Elected on March 23 to head Conass, Fernandes cited the council’s priorities this year as “building consensus” to overcome the state of emergency.

“This debate should take practically the entire 1st semester, both in defining the necessary criteria to be reached to lift a state of emergency and to build an agenda for a national plan for the resumption of the health system and also for social and economic activities. We will have many regulatory adjustments in various social and economic activities”.

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