Covid cases soar and put BH on alert due to low vaccination coverage

Covid cases soar and put BH on alert due to low vaccination coverage
Covid cases soar and put BH on alert due to low vaccination coverage

To contain new cases, BH is carrying out a vaccination campaign for children and adolescents against Covid-19 this Saturday (November 4) | Photo: Ramon Bitencourt

The number of Covid-19 cases in Belo Horizonte registered weekly increased by 225%, when compared to the first and last weeks of October. According to the epidemiological bulletin, released by the Municipal Health Department, there were 502 confirmed cases between October 25th and November 1st. The number is three times higher than the number confirmed between October 5th and 11th, with 154. In the last seven days, the capital also confirmed five deaths from the disease, which had not been recorded in the rest of the month.

The week with the highest number of confirmed cases was between October 18th and 25th, with 897 new positive tests. Last Thursday (November 2), Belo Horizonte City Hall published a statement warning about low vaccination coverage, mainly for children and teenagers. According to the survey, only 7.9% of children aged between 6 months and 2 years received the third dose. In the age group between 5 and 11 years old, the rate is 15.1%. The Ministry of Health’s guidance is that 90% of the population be vaccinated.

“The virus continues to circulate and the vaccine is the most effective measure to prevent the most serious forms of the disease and even death. It is essential that parents and guardians take children and adolescents to vaccination sites to update their vaccination status”, said the municipal secretary of Health, Danilo Borges Matias, in a statement published by the capital’s city hall.

With the aim of increasing the percentage of people immunized and ensuring protection against the disease, the vaccine against Covid-19 is being made available during the Multivaccination Campaign. The initiative began on October 21st and will end this Saturday (November 4th), date on which the health centers of the nine regions will be open in the capital.

The vaccine against Covid-19 is one of those offered during the Campaign. The monovalent dose of the vaccine is for people aged 6 months to 14 years. The bivalent dose is offered to adolescents between 12 and 14 years old and who have some comorbidity. To receive vaccinations, parents or guardians of children and adolescents must present their vaccination card.

New variant and increase in cases

According to the Municipal Health Department, the increase in the number of cases can also be explained by the circulation of the new subvariant of omicron in the municipality. The ministry reinforces that, despite the increase in positivity, there has been no pressure on care in the capital’s health units so far. “It is important to emphasize that vaccination prevents hospitalization and deaths from the disease”, he warned, in a note.

The numbers that are part of the epidemiological bulletin and that indicate an increase in the positivity rate in the capital are calculated based on the results of tests carried out in the municipality’s own network (Health Centers, Testing Centers and UPAs). However, the Municipal Health Department states that there has been a reduction in the number of tests carried out, since the test is currently carried out on users with more specific signs and symptoms of the disease, which increases the probability of positivity. For this reason, according to the ministry, it is important to maintain precautions against the disease and keep the vaccination card updated.

“The Municipal Health Department reinforces that it is necessary to maintain disease control measures. Health centers are supplied with doses of the vaccine against Covid-19 for all ages called. Keeping the vaccination card updated is one of the ways to combat coronavirus”, he stated.

Masks return in Santa Luzia

The city of Santa Luzia, in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte, ordered the return of the use of masks after cases of Covid-19 increased in the city. According to municipal data, confirmed cases of the disease increased by 306.6%going from 30 between October 1st and 15th to 122 from October 16th to 27th.

In view of the increase, the city hall’s guidance is to masks will be used again by employees and patients in healthcare units public and private, people who are symptomatic or potentially in contact with transmitters, people with colds and flu, unvaccinated people or people with an incomplete vaccination schedule and immunosuppressed people. It is still recommended for use by people with comorbidities and residents of long-term care facilities for the elderly.

The O TEMPO report questioned Belo Horizonte City Hall about the possibility of returning to the use of masks in the capital. In a note, the city hall informed that it carries out daily monitoring of cases and suspected new variants, and that this information guides the measures to be adopted, if necessary. “The municipality reiterates its commitment to the health of the population and recommends the use of masks for people who are immunosuppressed or have symptoms of the disease”, he highlighted.

See the number of Covid cases per week in October in BH

  • 5 to 11/10 – 154 confirmed cases
  • 11 to 18/10 – 223 confirmed cases
  • 18 to 25/10 – 897 confirmed cases
  • 10/25 to 11/1 – 502 confirmed cases

Source: Belo Horizonte City Hall Epidemiological Bulletin

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Covid cases soar put alert due vaccination coverage



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