After three weeks in the yellow code due to Covid-19 infections -which implies a lower level-, Puerto Rico is now in the orange code, one step away from the critical level, according to the index created by the country’s scientists.
The infections and deaths from Covid-19 continue to increase and the Secretary of Health, Lorenzo González, again warned that the figures are worrying. He did not rule out that this implies the closure of some economic sectors that were opened during the current executive order.
“The orange area implies greater restriction. What can I say? We have seen that the part of hospital resources has remained relatively stable and that is something positive. As of today (yesterday) we have 55% of beds used, 386 hospitalized and we have 473 beds used in intensive care ”, explained González. “The indicators for hospital, intensive care and ventilators are below expectations. We are going to see how the deaths behave, but we continue to see positivity, “he warned.
González let it be known that the medical groups – including the disjointed ‘task force’ of La Fortaleza advisers – will meet at the end of this week and the announcement of the new executive order will be made next week.
The Health Department reported yesterday an additional death from Covid-19 and the new numbers of infections reflected 473 cases between confirmed and probable. The person who died was a 74-year-old woman from the Aguadilla region.
According to the statement that Salud sends daily, the accumulated confirmed deaths total 439 and the probable ones are 170. In total, the deaths – probable and confirmed – total 609.
The executive order that began on September 12 expires on October 3. With the order in force, the government tried again to reopen the economy almost entirely, allowing the operation of cinemas, gyms, casinos and increasing the capacity of restaurants.
Both Governor Wanda Vázquez and her advisers insisted that protection depended on citizens, who should protect themselves with a mask, distancing and hand washing. This order also involved the return of public employees to government agencies and kept churches open.
It was announced that the next government decisions will not respond to the health and economic advisers, as an alert index for citizens was created.
The governor said that she would detail the details of the alert index and which sector of the economy can open in each of the lines, but this information has not been offered.
“The colors give us a rational way to analyze this,” said the Secretary of Health. “If we are in orange, there is going to be an additional restriction. The order we have was made when we were in yellow. Should we now see more restrictions? ”González questioned.
“What the governor has presented regarding the use of a mask, distancing and the use of hand hygiene is still serious, but high-risk groups should also stay at home, which is what has been discussed,” he emphasized.
This alert index, as published THE SPOKESMAN, operates optimally when sufficient tests are performed and when contact tracing is efficient. It was created by the Puerto Rico Health Trust and considers four indicators: the availability of intensive care beds in hospitals, the percentage of positivity, the number of active cases, and the transmission capacity of Covid-19 on the Island.
González insisted that the agency complies with carrying out sufficient tests and with following up on the contacts of people positive for the virus. He assured that they met with Quest laboratories to discuss a delay in reporting the results of tests performed. He affirmed that, in addition, they met with the reference laboratories to guarantee the agility in the results and the consistency in the way of handling them.
They assist in the electoral process
According to the Secretary of Health, officials of this agency met with the directors of the State Elections Commission (CEE), whom they will assist in the voting process of confined and bedridden people to implement measures that prevent contagion with coronavirus. The group will be led by Dr. Jessica Irizarry, director of the agency’s Division and Control of Chronic Diseases.
“We are going to work with them in the context of voting in prisons, the elderly and the bedridden. The logistics of this effort are being worked out with the National Guard to establish the entrance to the prisons, ”she said.