Because it is an atypical electoral event and marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the president of the College of Surgeons, Víctor Ramos, called on voters not to gloat in the voting centers or to gather to celebrate once the primaries are concluded tomorrow on the island.
In turn, the pediatrician also pointed out that it would be dangerous if the upward trend in Covid-19 cases continues until the middle of this month, since it would imply that the transmission of The virus is born in the communities and not in the travelers who arrive in Puerto Rico in this summer season.
“I think that the increases (in cases) will continue at least until the middle of August. I hope that after the middle of August they will start to go down, when there will no longer be the trips that usually there are in July of people coming and going to see their families. Thousands of family members are traveling, but vacations are over and that should begin to improve because July is the month that people travel the most, "said Ramos.
" I hope it starts to go down (the contagion) because if not, it implies that the total transmission is community because, at the moment, it is half associated with travelers and half with community transmission ", he said.
The doctor explained that normally people from places like the Dominican Republic, Texas and Florida – where the cases of Covid- 19 have also skyrocketed — they come to Puerto Rico at this time to visit their families. “If the cases do not begin to decrease, that means that community transmission in Puerto Rico has increased dramatically and that would be permanently bad, but we see that from mid-August onwards. The most that worries me at the moment is the use of intensive (care) beds for Covid-19 patients and not Covid-19. There are patients who were not cared for due to the pandemic and deteriorated, "he said.
For the doctor, tomorrow's primaries will be safe to the extent that citizens and officials of the State Elections Commission (CEE) comply with the protocol defined by the Department of Health in consultation with other health sectors. Do not start, he urged voters to vote and immediately return to their homes. On repeated occasions, Ramos used phrases such as “go, vote and go” and “celebrate or cry at home.”
“If the protocol is followed as it is on paper, infections should be minimized, but if things like Last Saturday (with the advance vote of the New Progressive Party) and it seems to me that today (yesterday) they are having situations in the prisons, because that is a problem. The idea is that the line moves quite fast, there will be a 'hand sanitizer', you no longer have to insert your finger for the ink and they will drop you with a dropper and there will be gloves, masks. They also have to comply with the distancing measures, "said Ramos.
He believed that" socialization "should not occur in the polling stations located in communities, as ordinarily occurs on election days. “You go, you stand in line, you vote and you go. People are also quite passionate about politics and sometimes they fight in the ranks. That would not be good if it happened because there would be crowds. So go, vote and go. "
He pointed out that they should not coordinate celebrations in the candidates' committees without social distancing. “That shouldn't happen without distancing either, but in theory, if the commission's protocols are followed, the risk of contagion should be minimized. Although it is certainly important to vote to decide who will continue to manage the pandemic after January. I plan to go to vote on Sunday and give an example that the protocols do work, "he said.
The issue of the pandemic cannot go to the background during the upcoming electoral events, according to Ramos. “We still have to follow it the same, the coronavirus is in the street and is in the highest part we have had. Care steps and steps must be followed wherever we go. Nothing has changed, "he concluded.
Doctors are not exempt
The College of Surgeons reported that 61 doctors have tested positive for Covid-19 and three have died since the arrival of the virus to the Island.
The latest Health report included seven deaths and 769 additional positive cases on the Island, of which 399 are confirmed and 370 are probable cases. With these new data, there are 20,686 confirmed and probable cases accumulated since the pandemic began, as well as a total 265 deaths as a result of the novel virus.
The management of the pandemic has revealed a number of challenges in the health system of Puerto Rico, such as the inability of hospitals to retain personnel, the limitation of reagents to process diagnostic tests in laboratories, and the government's administrative failures in the purchase of materials.