Health March 16, 2021 | 3:58 pm

Expert warns risk of third wave of infections

Miguel Franjul, Rubén Peralta and Doris Pantaleón

Santo Domingo, DR

Given the small population with a dose of vaccine against Covid-19 that the Dominican Republic has and the aggressiveness with which some variants of the virus act, the renowned Dominican doctor Rubén Peralta fears that a massive opening during Holy Week could be the beginning of a third outbreak of the virus in the country.

The specialist in trauma and critical care has fears that this will also lead to the entry and community circulation in Dominican territory of the variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus detected in Washington Heights, New York that this entails an increase in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Remember that as long as it is not possible to deliver the two doses of vaccines to the majority of the population, the country must continue working hard in the search or tracing through massive tests, establish epidemiological cordon, management and isolation of cases and that the public must assume with responsibility for protective measures such as the use of a mask, physical distancing, and hand washing.

Professor Peralta issued his considerations from Doha, Qatar, Middle East, where he occupies the position of Deputy Medical Director of the Center and Programs of Trauma in Qatar, participating as a guest in the “Appointment with the Covid” that broadcasts every Monday at nine to noon on, hosted by its director Miguel Franjul and journalist Doris Pantaleón.

He recalled that to guarantee adequate protection through vaccines, both doses must be had and remain 15 days later, so prevention measures must be maintained.

Variants of the virus
He recalled that countries with many vaccines present new waves of the virus with high consequences and offered Brazil as an example, where the new variant detected is causing the system to collapse.

He said that the variants of the virus that have emerged would be the ones that will outline the treatment strategies that countries should follow, possibly for the next two years.

According to health authorities, at least five variants of the Covid-19 virus have been isolated in the country.

Peralta said he fears that the BI52C variant from New York will arrive in the country, which is very lethal and highly transmissible, “I fear that if we open for Holy Week and that 20,000 or 30,000 Dominicans from the diaspora will arrive to visit families, this generates super outbreak events, and there may be no control for the pandemic for a long time.” He also asked the Ministry of Public Health to be transparent and sound the alarm to the population that the pandemic is not controlled and carry out massive tests to detect the virus.

Very high positivity to open schools
The renowned specialist thinks that the positivity of the virus in the country, which yesterday was over 11% of the samples processed in the last four weeks, is very high and that with those percentages it should not be thought In opening schools in person, you cannot be in gyms or bars because the risk of outbreaks is very high.

He said that the ideal is that the positivity is below 5% to open such activities. He recalled that in March of last year, during an interview that the researcher Ligia Peralta gave to Listín Diario with his sister, he was emphatic in pointing out the need for a massive search for cases and the establishment of epidemiological cordons by areas, measures, which he said, at the moment they still apply.

All vaccines reduce hospitalizations.
He highlighted the effectiveness of all vaccines against Covid-19 approved and have begun to be applied in the countries. He stressed that all effectively reduce between 85% and 100% of hospitalizations, critical conditions, and deaths, which is why they generate great optimism.

However, he regretted a considerable gap in the acquisition of vaccines, with significant inequality between countries, and that vaccine nationalism has also emerged, which is one in which the rich countries that produce them monopolize them for internal use.

He welcomed the phased vaccination model carried out by the Dominican Government because when there is an anemic supply of vaccines, the ideal is to prioritize risk groups.

AstraZeneca case
Regarding the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine in several European countries in the face of some cases of clotting problems, he explained that it is a specific batch of one million doses distributed in that region that was identified, so it is always It is important for people to look at the batch number of the vaccines they receive.

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