July 29, 2021

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Dangerous rise in COVID-19 infections in October

October will culminate as the month with the most diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the development that the pandemic has had to date in Puerto Rico and as the period in which more infections have arisen in the pediatric population, where there are already three minors who have died from the novel coronavirus.

This is confirmed by an analysis carried out by the Research Manager of the Public Health Trust of the Puerto Rico Public Health Trust, Marcos López, who detailed that the sustained rebound in cases that occurred in October will culminate with more than 9,000 confirmed infections of the virus, which would cause a record number in the development of the disease on the island.

According to data from the Health Department, 395 confirmed cases of the virus were added yesterday, bringing the total number of diagnoses to 34,541. Meanwhile, the probable ones reach 32,120 cases, including 149 added in yesterday’s report. Convalescents are estimated at 29,903, so it is estimated that there are about 4,638 active cases. Meanwhile, the total number of deaths is 832 and, of these, 89% are in people over 60 years of age.

“With these numbers, which are up to October 29, there are 8,591 cases adjudicated to October… but the projection is that with the cases that will enter this week that figure will definitely place October over 9,000 cases, which would surpass the record figure September, which is currently 8,981, ”said López.

“It will go up dramatically and that worries me because the situation is not improving and there are still events that exacerbate the issue such as pre-election events, the same day of the elections and the festivities that are approaching such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, ”said the scientific researcher.

For his part, the professor of biostatistics at the Harvard University School of Public Health, Rafael Irizarry, who analyzes the COVID-19 situation in Puerto Rico daily, detailed that the virus’s positivity rate increased from 9% to 12% in the month of October.

“We are already going through 400 positive daily newspapers on average… and remember, these are the ones detected. The undetected are many more. My estimate is that there are more than 10,000 and up to 15,000 active cases in Puerto Rico right now, ”he reacted on Twitter.

According to Irizarry’s analysis, which uses official figures from the Department of Health, until yesterday, October 22 was the day with the highest cases diagnosed last month with a total of 525. Then October 24 followed with 524 cases and on October 14 with 516.

More infections in minors

On the other hand, October is also the month with the highest registered infections in the pediatric population.

According to López, with the data available for October, it is determined that the disease was diagnosed in 1,316 children under 19 years of age, a figure that exceeds by more than 140 cases the 1,175 that were attributed to this demographic sector in September. Meanwhile, in August the registry of cases in minors was 1,094 and in July 861.

“It would be necessary to evaluate, but taking into account the reports of the Municipal System of Investigation of Cases and Tracing of Contacts (SMICRC), which indicates a considerable number of infections and outbreaks in family events, since it could be said that these minors are becoming infected in those settings. And that is extremely terrible. With everything we see in October we can say that the executive order is not being complied with and people are lowering their guard a lot, ”he determined.

At the moment, of the 832 deaths registered by Health, two correspond to children under 19 years old: a 13-year-old girl from the Caguas region and a 19-year-old girl from the Fajardo area. Meanwhile, this weekend the death of a 16-year-old adolescent who spent two months in the intensive care unit due to the disease was revealed. As explained by his parents in an interview with Noticentro, the young man acquired the virus through his parents, policemen by profession. His father said that at least seven family members were infected with the coronavirus.

For his part, the president of the College of Surgeons, Víctor Ramos, said that the effect of the dramatic increase in cases registered in October is beginning to be seen in hospitalizations and will worsen in the coming weeks.

“We have seen a gradual increase in cases and hospitalizations. We are seeing what happened in July and August when the cases began to increase, which coincided with the reopening and crowds in political events for the primaries … now what worries us is what happened on Halloween and what comes with the elections and the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays ”, he expressed.

He warned that citizens should be aware that this season “COVID is not alone … it is attacking with the presence of other diseases.”

“Now it is not just COVID … now we are seeing an increase in cases of dengue, syncytial virus, influenza,” he said referring to pediatric patients.

He stated that in Puerto Rico, days-old babies have been diagnosed with the disease, who have had to be admitted to the hospital due to fever and dehydration.

“People have the perception that children are not going to get severe COVID and it is important that they know that this is Russian roulette. We do not know who will get severe illness. We have already had cases of healthy children and adults who have been given the virus and have died. It is not common, but it does happen ”, he said, pleading with adults not to take the children to the voting centers or political caravans.

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