At a meeting held on Tuesday, the WG Health of the government of Rio Grande do Sul decided to issue a warning to the Covid de Canoas region (R08) due to the worsening of the pandemic. The information was confirmed yesterday afternoon by the State, after a meeting between members of the Crisis Cabinet. The State’s justification for the warning to Canoas is based on three factors: considerable increase in the number of confirmed cases, high occupancy of clinical beds and a low percentage of those vaccinated with the second dose of some immunizing agent against Covid-19.
As for the growing number of positive cases, the GT Saúde indicates that the region of Canoas – composed of 18 municipalities – had an incidence of 230.7 confirmed new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last week, which represents an increase of 39.3 %. Regarding the occupation of clinical beds, data from the region indicated more than 1.9% hospitalized in the Covid ward, between suspects and confirmed, totaling 165 hospitalized in ward beds.
The third reason for the warning is the low rate of people who took the second dose: 11.7%, the 5th lowest proportion among the 21 Covid-19 regions. In Canoas, 41,553 completed the immunization (13.8% considering 300 thousand inhabitants). In Nova Santa Rita, there are 2,804 (9.3% considering 30,000 inhabitants).
Although he thinks the warning should have come sooner, data scientist and Covid-19 Analysis Network coordinator Isaac Schrarstzhaupt sees System 3As more effective than flags. “The warning has come much earlier than in the flags system. Before, the color of the flag changed when it was already bad. I, Isaac, would give the warning earlier, because I would give the trend reversal and not when it goes back up.”
As for the situation in the Canoas region, Isaac observes: “I can see that the cases have been increasing for at least a week and the rate of fall was already falling”.
It is necessary to restrict
Asked what municipalities in the region can do to try to reverse the situation, Isaac bets on restricting circulation and expanding the vaccination schedule. “The level is still very high. He let it go up, he will have to restrict until the level goes down. The ideal would be to restrict now to avoid a runaway”, evaluates Isaac, recalling the period of black flag in RS. “The activities were made more flexible, there are more people on the street and more viruses circulating. The disease does not have a roof. If you let it, it grows. We see the mobility data and it’s crazy, people returning to face-to-face work”, he adds .
Within the pandemic scenario experienced by the Country and the State, the data scientist has an impactful phrase, but one that reflects reality: “Death is an indicator I call harvest, which only happens because you planted the cases”.
New demand in hospitals in the region
Isaac cites a crucial point of the worsening in the overall picture of the pandemic, both in R08 and in other regions: hospitals still have patients from the last peak and now they have to deal with the upward trend.
“Our hospitals still haven’t got rid of the past peak. I always remember that hospital discharge is not contagious. People who are cured do not generate other cured. The fall is always longer and we still can’t lower the level of hospitals and we’re about to see the increase in hospitalizations”, he comments.
Another factor remembered by Isaac is the arrival of the cold, which should further increase the number of hospitalizations. “At this time we always have an increase in respiratory syndromes, even before the pandemic, and it’s supposed to happen this year too, but much worse, by people locked up because of the cold.”
Evaluation of the notice by the City Hall
The Secretary for Governance and Combating the Pandemic, Felipe Martini, ponders the warning: “Canoas is not an island. We were the last region to receive one of the 3As of the State Government, now, a warning. Canoas goes against the sharp curve of the curve of contamination by Covid-19. Canoas has 75% of ICU beds occupied and Caxias has 100% occupied We have 700 canoes who still depend on a second dose to complete the vaccination schedule. Porto Alegre has more than 10,000, Erechim has 3,552. Canoas today has the largest number of people immunized with a second dose. Canoas has prepared very well for the moment of blackout. We end up being pulled a lot by the municipalities that make up Region 08. But we have the best indicators.”