19.4 C
United States of America
Thursday, May 19, 2022

Why is the COVID-19 scenario different from the first two waves? Experts analyze the performance of the Minsa

Confirmation of the variant omicron in Peru it represents a new challenge for the health system that has been treating an increase in infections of COVID-19. There are at least 47 cases of the variant detected in 16 districts on dates when meetings and crowds are almost irrepressible.

READ ALSO | The anti-vaccine bill: the X-ray of a dangerous nonsense that backfires the Minsa

The studies to determine the behavior of omicron are in full development and the initial findings are not conclusive, but they show that it is a much more contagious variant than the previous ones, with cases doubling every two or three days. In fact, it is already the dominant variant in Denmark and the United Kingdom, where delta predominated until now. Faced with this scenario, are the actions of the Ministry of Health working?

Trade consulted the doctors Miguel Palacios Celi, dean of the Medical College of Peru, Theresa Ochoa Woodell, Director of the UPCH Alexander von Humboldt Institute of Tropical Medicine and Percy Mayta-Tristán, Research Director of Southern Scientific University on the successes and failures of the first five months of Hernando Cevallos’s tenure at the Ministry of Health.

Miguel Palacios Celi

Dean of the Medical College of Peru

The dean of the CMP, Miguel Palacios, warned that the first level of care must be prepared to receive a greater number of cases for the omicron variant. (Photo: El Comercio)

1. With infections on the rise, what stand out from the management of Hernando Cevallos at the Minsa?

The vaccination balance has been the most remarkable. They started at a snail’s pace, but they picked up speed and now there is a good percentage of vaccinated. However, with a third dose there is a loss of strategy, you have to act creatively, you do not make enough progress.

[Al cierre de esta nota el Minsa reportaba un avance del 76% de cobertura de la población objetivo, con 21′169.683 personas con dos dosis. De la tercera dosis se cuentan apenas 2′821.784 aplicaciones hasta el 23 de diciembre].

2. Have the sanitary measures been applied correctly? What was missing?

A mistake is that the Minsa has entered into routine mode, new strategies are needed to reach the laggards and counteract the anti-vaccine. We have asked the Attorney General to intervene because anti-vaccine spokesmen threaten public health. Collaborative work and social mobilization are also needed to promote vaccines. The card fulfilled its role, but in a time of total relaxation it quickly loses effectiveness. The third wave is going to come anyway and there are not enough oxygen therapy centers. The Minsa claims to have 2,000 nationwide, but only 222 are active right now. There are no concrete actions to prepare for the third wave. The US and Europe are a mirror of what we are going to suffer in the following weeks. Not only vaccines are enough, we must advance in health promotion and prevention.

3. What measures should the Minsa implement in the face of a possible new wave of infections?

The first level of care is a negative balance. There you can solve 82% of diseases if it were empowered. The advances that are there are poor and there are still great gaps, we have a disappointment because there is no progress. It remains to recover the immunizations program for preventable diseases, to recover the initiative to reduce maternal death, where we have regressed 10 years. Those strategies are neglected. We are in vaccine mode, but you have to give yourself space for other needs. At some point the pandemic will be endemic. We have to get used to living with it and for that we need policies from the State.

THERESA OCHOA WOODELL

Director of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute of Tropical Medicine at UPCH

Theresa Ochoa is a pediatric infectologist.
Theresa Ochoa is a pediatric infectologist.

1. With infections on the rise, what stand out from the management of Hernando Cevallos at the Minsa?

The vaccination strategy is important. It started slowly and sectorized due to the lack of availability of vaccines, but it increased. Several campaigns have been carried out to motivate the population to get vaccinated, although despite all these efforts there is 20% that is still missing. It is an important advance, but those who have not been vaccinated are not all reluctant to vaccinate but have time or work difficulties. In that sense, they have done well with the program to go to markets and work centers. Communication for promotion has to improve in several respects.

2. Have the sanitary measures been applied correctly? What was missing?

The first level needs to be strengthened. With the omicron variant, which we know reproduces up to 70 times faster in the respiratory epithelium, we could have an impressive number of cases that need to be treated at the first level because even if a very small percentage is severe, the system will saturate. The obligation of the card prompted vaccination, but the control has to be improved and that is where the work of the municipality comes in. If we compare with international experience, it is positive that the mask is still mandatory, but overcrowding in transport and crowds has not been reduced. That is the main problem now.

3. What measures should the Minsa implement in the face of a possible new wave of infections?

We are going to enter a transition stage in which the virus goes from pandemic to endemic, such as influenza, in which the most affected are the susceptible, unvaccinated, immunosuppressed or elderly populations. That is why vaccination against all diseases must be strengthened, not only for children but also for adults. Non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer are also neglected. It is necessary to ensure their attention, everything has fallen to the ground. We must regain control of other diseases such as tuberculosis, dengue, malaria, yellow fever. It would be terrible to have an endemic of that too. The Minsa is going to have to allocate a priority group to follow the covid, but already take care of the other diseases.

PERCY MAYTA-TRISTÁN

Director, Directorate of Project Management and Research Promotion, Southern Scientific University

The surgeon Percy Mayta-Tristán has trained students and health professionals in scientific writing in almost all regions of the country and Latin American countries.  (Photo: Broadcast)
The surgeon Percy Mayta-Tristán has trained students and health professionals in scientific writing in almost all regions of the country and Latin American countries. (Photo: Broadcast)

1. With infections on the rise, what stand out from the management of Hernando Cevallos at the Minsa?

The first thing is that there was no clean slate. The Vice Minister of Public Health is maintained [Gustavo Rossel] which is the main responsible for the response to the pandemic and immunization. We have not suffered what has been seen in other ministries that stopped. The advance of vaccination is undoubted, the rate and coverage increased. That is also due to the previous government that proposed having enough vaccines and contracts. We rescue that the rituals of the protocols have been removed [pediluvios, toma de temperatura]. They delayed, but they took it away

2. Have the sanitary measures been applied correctly? What was missing?

What is missing from the previous administration is the predictability of health measures. Before we knew several days before what was going to be done, in this case we felt that decisions are always made at the last minute or they surprise us with rules at night. The measures come out on the fly and are not as articulated. Another major problem is communication. The last campaign about ‘disappearing’ people was very rare. We have been fortunate that during the new government the cases were down and we have not been able to see well how the implementation of oxygen is going and if the first level has been improved. We are going to suffer this with omicron. We have not grown in the volume of diagnostic tests either. We see that other countries in Europe and the United States have bought screening tests in bulk and here there is not that.

3. What measures should the Minsa implement in the face of a possible new wave of infections?

It is necessary to ensure human resources in health, since with omicron it is possible that many are reinfected and leave the services. There is still a large number of staff that are still on leave. There are also CAS COVID staff who have not been paid or have not been renewed. It is necessary to ensure the diagnosis, buy more tests and enable more laboratories. Now there will be an explosion in demand for diagnostics and then for follow-up. This is where you must ensure that the first level of care and review the availability of oxygen.

Risk scenarios and what to do to avoid them (Infographic: Jean Izquierdo)
Risk scenarios and what to do to avoid them (Infographic: Jean Izquierdo)
Risk scenarios and what to do to avoid them (Infographic: Jean Izquierdo)
Risk scenarios and what to do to avoid them (Infographic: Jean Izquierdo)
Risk scenarios and what to do to avoid them (Infographic: Jean Izquierdo)
Risk scenarios and what to do to avoid them (Infographic: Jean Izquierdo)
Risk scenarios and what to do to avoid them (Infographic: Jean Izquierdo)
Risk scenarios and what to do to avoid them (Infographic: Jean Izquierdo)
Risk scenarios and what to do to avoid them (Infographic: Jean Izquierdo)
Risk scenarios and what to do to avoid them (Infographic: Jean Izquierdo)
Risk scenarios and what to do to avoid them (Infographic: Jean Izquierdo)
Risk scenarios and what to do to avoid them (Infographic: Jean Izquierdo)

RECOMMENDED VIDEO

Minister Cevallos on omicron cases
Minister Cevallos on omicron cases https://www.latina.pe/noticias

IT MAY INTEREST YOU

Latest news
- Advertisement -
Related news

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here