Second wave of covid-19: how Brazil can cope

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While Europe is dealing with the second wave of covid-19, Brazil is experiencing a “pandemic ended” climate, with full beaches and commerce reopening – but already feeling the consequences: nine capitals (Florianópolis, João Pessoa, Maceió. Belém, Fortaleza, Macapá, Natal, Salvador and São Luís) registered an increase in the number of infected.

“The possibility of being a second wave should serve as an alert for local authorities to rethink or reverse flexibilization policies,” researcher Marcelo Gomes, InfoGripe coordinator, told the O Globo newspaper, a system maintained by Fiocruz that uses disease records from the Ministry of Health (MS).

According to experts heard by the BBC, it is practically impossible for Brazil to prevent the second wave of covid-19 from sweeping the country – how and when the unknowns are.

Coronavirus testing

It is only possible to know the real picture of infections with the mass testing of the population. “Where tests are not carried out, no cases are found,” said Ferreira. In Brazil, however, half of the tests applied are of the rapid type, which points only if the person has already had the virus – not if it is active.

In October, China tested 4.75 million people in the city of Kashgar, after a single case of covid-19 was reported.

Isolation and screening

The protocol determines both to isolate the contaminated for two weeks, as well as to track everyone who has had contact with the patient. The MS has an application for this (the Coronavirus SUS), but a survey conducted in a thousand cities by Fiocruz showed that Whatsapp is the great ally of the Unified Health System (SUS): more than 40% of patient follow-ups are done by through the messaging application.

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