A study by the Todos pela Saúde Institute based on laboratory samples identified an increase in positive tests from 6.2% to 11.7% in a period of 15 days. The day before yesterday, the daily average of deaths rose to 124, the highest in two weeks. In the state of São Paulo, another yellow light: the daily average of new hospitalizations for covid was 155 in the week ended on the 23rd, compared to 146 in the previous week. Regions in Europe and the US have also seen cases increase. China, on the other hand, imposed restrictions and lockdown, with citizens’ dissatisfaction.
For epidemiologist Ethel Maciel, from the Federal University of Espírito Santo (Ufes), the country is experiencing a different moment. “We have a low percentage of people with the booster dose, we don’t have an effective communication campaign, and many people who took the primary (vaccination) schedule more than a year ago. On the other hand, as practically 80% of the population is vaccinated with the primary regimen, the chance of having more severe cases and deaths is much lower.”
Margareth Portela, researcher at Fiocruz’s Covid Observatory, has a similar view. “(The high) is a possibility, especially considering the level of flexibility of protection measures”, she says, noting that the virus continues to circulate around the world. “Anyway, I don’t see the worst wave as very likely.” The latest Fiocruz bulletin shows that, from April 10 to 23, there was a 36% reduction in transmission intensity rates in the country compared to the two previous weeks.
“As life returned to normal, small spikes in cases or even falls are possible, depending on the circulation of the virus”, says Alexandre Naime Barbosa, an infectious disease specialist at Unesp. He believes that, while a good part of the most vulnerable population is protected, there should not be a significant increase in serious cases. “In the general population, data is still lacking to say whether we will need the 4th dose.”