The 70-year-old patient Iray Fernandes leaves the last field hospital that was operating in the city of Sao Paulo. (EFE Agency)
São Paulo – Seven months after its first case of coronavirus , Brazil is experiencing a moment of relative stability, but it has turned on alerts due to the rebound in infections in Amazonas , the first state to collapse, and deaths in Rio de Janeiro.
The pandemic, which already leaves 141,406 deaths, with 869 new deaths in the last day, and 4.7 million infected in the South American giant, has decreased in intensity, but still presents high figures, while Brazilians increasingly relax their perception of the disease. health crisis.
The incidence rate reached 2,245.1 cases per 100,000 inhabitants this Saturday, which indicates a still very high level of transmission in this country of 212 million inhabitants, one of the most affected by the coronavirus along with the United States and India .
The average daily death fell 10% in the last week and is now slightly below 700, although epidemiological specialists fear a further increase in view of the frequent crowds in public places.
“The pandemic has not yet fallen to levels to be able to say that we have finished the cycle of the first curve,” Dr. Antonio Bandeira, director of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases (SBI), told Efe.
Amazon alert: restrictions return
The state of Amazonas, which borders Colombia, Venezuela and Peru, once again closed bars, party houses and riverside beaches in the regional capital, Manaus, for a period of 30 days from Friday.
Manaus, which with about two million inhabitants is home to practically half of the population of Amazonas, experienced dramatic scenes during the months of April and May, when its hospitals and funeral homes collapsed due to the explosion of COVID-19 cases.
It was the first major city in the country to be overwhelmed. He even buried their deceased in mass graves and had to deal with the shortage of coffins.
In June, the data began to remit and the regional authorities began to relax the isolation measures.
Shops reopened, public schools again welcomed students – Amazonas was the first Brazilian state to do so – but in recent weeks there has been a sudden increase in infections.
According to official data, COVID-19 cases in Manaus increased by 55% between the second and third week of September, before which the governor of Amazonas, Wilson Lima, imposed the new restrictions.
“We are making this decision due to the lack of compliance with the protocols. Nobody was wearing the mask anymore and crowds were taking place, ”Lima told reporters.
And that a study, led by Brazilian scientists and released this week, indicated the possibility that Manaus has already achieved herd immunity with 66% of its infected population, according to their calculations.
Deaths increase in Rio de Janeiro
The situation in Rio de Janeiro, the second Brazilian state with the most deaths (18,247), is also beginning to worry.
In the last nine days there has been an increase in the daily average of deaths, which now varies between 82 and 103. This growth coincides with the images of beaches crowded with bathers in the former 'Cidade Maravilhosa', encouraged by the good temperatures and despite the sanitary measures still in force.
But the de-escalation plan, far from being paralyzed, continues to advance and the government of Rio authorized on Wednesday the return of fans to the football stadiums, with a limited capacity of up to 30%, which means that more could enter the Maracanã stadium. of 15,000 people.
“This is something impossible to control and it will end up having an impact,” said Bandeira, also a professor of infectology at the UniFTC School of Medicine.
However, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) maintained this Saturday its veto on the return of the public to the country's stadiums, although it will reassess its decision within 15 days.
Samba schools chose to be more cautious and have indefinitely suspended their parades for the next carnival, which were scheduled for February, for the first time in 108 years.
The last field hospital in São Paulo closes
On the other hand, in Sao Paulo, the most populous city in Brazil, closed this Saturday the last of the three field hospitals that remained standing, after five months in operation in which it treated 3,189 patients with COVID-19.
The state of Sao Paulo, the worst hit in Brazil in absolute numbers, with 970,888 cases and 35,063 deaths, registers its lowest death rate since last May and hospitalizations have fallen gradually in the last nine weeks.
However, this Saturday long lines of vehicles returned to register on the main road that connects the capital of São Paulo with the coast.
For Bandeira, the use of a mask and social distancing must be maintained, at least, until the first quarter of 2021, in order to avoid the “mistake” made by some European countries, already immersed in a second wave of the pandemic.