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Society Amazonian Winter may accelerate third wave of Covid-19 in AM with increased cases of the disease

In the Amazon winter period, respiratory diseases increase. (Reproduction/Pará Fire Department)

Gabriel Abreu – from Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – With more than 167 thousand people who have not taken any dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 and more than 280 thousand who are with the immunization delayed, the Government of Amazonas tries to curb a possible new increase of cases of the new coronavirus in Manaus. With the arrival of the Amazonian winter, the cases of respiratory syndromes tend to grow in the state in the next months, and the number of cases of the disease may also increase. One of the actions of the State Department of Health (SES-AM) to face this forecast is to expand the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 to five shopping malls in the capital of Amazonas.

In January this year, Amazonas went through the worst moment of the pandemic, with a high in cases, hospitalizations and deaths by Covid-19. The lack of oxygen in the health units of Manaus caused a collapse in the network and patients had to be transferred to other states to minimize the impacts caused by variant Gamma (P.1).

“In the Amazon winter period, which we call seasonal, there is an increase in respiratory diseases. So, we need people to be careful, to sanitize their hands. I say that the prevention for respiratory syndrome, be it flu or Covid, is the same care”, explains the Secretary of Health for the Interior, Cássio Espírito Santo.

Amazonas has, today, 58 municipalities without people hospitalized with Covid-19 in their health units. Despite the decrease in hospitalizations, the structure set up in the 61 municipalities in the interior of the state is still active. All cities are equipped with Intermediary Therapy Units (CTU) and the most severe cases are transferred to the Delphina Aziz Hospital and Emergency Room, in the North zone of Manaus.

Amazonas in the third wave

The epidemiologist from Fiocruz Amazon, Jesem Orellana, told CENARIUM that, based on epidemiological analysis, Amazonas has already entered the third wave of Covid-19 a few weeks ago. For him, since many people are vaccinated, or had already been exposed to SARS-COV-2, the absolute majority of new cases are not reported, because many remain asymptomatic or with mild clinical pictures and do not seek the health service.

“This should be the tone of the third wave in Amazonas, many more asymptomatic/light cases than severe cases or deaths from Covid-19, if nothing relevant changes in the structure of the virus. In other words, a phase of the epidemic where it is even more difficult to ‘see’ viral spread or a window of opportunity for new threatening mutations, such as those with the potential to evade the immune response generated by vaccines, which would be a disaster”, explains the epidemiologist.

In a graph, the specialist shows that, in the last weeks of October, the number of hospitalizations increased by approximately 42%. According to the Health Department, the people who are hospitalized are patients who have not taken any dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 and people who are behind in their vaccination schedule.

Graphic provided by Fiocruz Amazon epidemiologist Jesem Orellana (Reproduction)

Orellana also points out that this increase of approximately 42% in hospitalizations in the state of Amazonas is “a reflection of the exaggerated relaxations in restrictive measures, in the false sensation that the vaccine does miracle” and that the “hospitalizations” reflect only part of the problem.

“We are talking about the most severe cases that had access to the hospital network, that is, if we have an increase in hospitalizations, it means that for more than 20-30 days the number of cases has increased and that this growth is only not more visible because of the precarious epidemiological surveillance of the state, especially in laboratories”, Orellana explained.

Shopping centers

The Amazonas Secretary of Health, Anoar Samad, says that the initiative in the malls of Manaus is one of the strategies used by the state government to reach people who have not been vaccinated yet.

“Our teams will be in these malls vaccinating the first, second and third dose. The booster dose is for people over 50 years old, who took their second dose or single dose at least five months ago, and for health professionals of any age who took their second dose or single dose more than five months ago”, stresses the secretary.

The action starts this weekend and continues until November 21st. From Thursday to Saturday, the schedule will be from 11am to 9pm, and on Sundays, from 2pm to 9pm. 

CHECK THE MALLS WHERE VACCINATION WILL TAKE PLACE AND WHO SHOULD BE VACCINATED:

1.   Shopping Ponta Negra: Avenida Coronel Teixeira, 5705, Ponta Negra neighborhood. Floor L2 (next to Vivara store).

2.    Amazonas Shopping: Avenida Djalma Batista, 482, Chapada neighborhood. Store 364/365 (Next to Ortosena, Carrefour entrance hall).

3.   Shopping Grande Circular: Avenida Autaz Mirim, 6100, São José Operário neighborhood. Floor L3, next to the movie theater.

4.   Manauara Shopping: Avenida Mário Ypiranga, 1300, Adrianópolis neighborhood. Floor Castanheiras (G6) (In front of Riachuelo Casa/Carter’s).

5.   Sumaúma Park Shopping: Avenida Noel Nutels, 1762, Cidade Nova. Japiim floor (1st floor), next to Riachuelo.