The increase in the number of hospitalizations related to covid-19 recorded in private hospitals in São Paulo is also being noticed, in the public network of the city, indicate data from municipal epidemiological bulletins processed through mathematical modeling and artificial intelligence – which arouses the concern of experts.
According to a tool developed by researchers from Unesp and USP, Info Tracker, in just six days (from 7 to 13 November), the occupancy rate of municipal institutions went from 556 to 604 (+ 9%) – reaching 37% growth in Grande SP (from 19 to 26). In addition, there was a 50% rise in both suspected cases and the rate of contagion acceleration, say the scientists.
Wallace Casaca, professor at Unesp and researcher at CeMEAI-USP (Center for Mathematical Sciences Applied to Industry), in an interview with Folha de S. Paulo, warns: “It is not a small fluctuation. It is a consolidated high, which involves an analysis since August. It may be an indication that we will end up mending [one wave of covid with another]. ”
On the other hand, Paulo Menezes, an epidemiologist and professor at USP who is part of the contingency center of the São Paulo government, declares that it is not yet possible to define whether the trend is consistent or just seasonal fluctuation. In any case, it does not rule out the worst case scenario: “Yes, an increase is possible and perhaps it is a consequence of the change in behavior of the middle and upper middle classes”, adding that the fact that private hospitals receive patients from other regions makes it difficult to predict what can occur with the public network.
Increase in cases? We need to keep an eye
The lack of access and the delay in diagnosis can mask the real situation of the public system, but Paulo Lotufo, also an epidemiologist at USP, points out that the occupancy rate of ICUs in these places has increased – something denied by the Municipal Health Department.
Even so, it is known that, as occurred at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, beds that had been released for other specialties had to be directed again to patients with covid-19. “There was an increase, but we cannot say yet that it is an exponentially increasing curve as it was in the first phase of the pandemic,” says surgeon Sidney Klajner, president of the institution.
Fernando Torelly, executive superintendent of HCor (Hospital do Coração), agrees: “[The number] increases and decreases. It is not a process of continuous increase as it happened at the peak of the pandemic.” Still according to him, the beds destined to the disease are 90% occupied, which is not a good sign. Even so, he defends: “We are much better prepared than we were in February.”