At a time when the increase in infections, hospitalizations and deaths in the general population due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) continues, an increase in confirmed cases is also observed among the medical class and other personnel working in hospitals, who are on the front lines of the fight against the disease. There are already five doctors who have died in Puerto Rico.
The most recent case transpired yesterday, when the president of the College of Surgeons, Víctor Ramos, published it on his Facebook account. “Despite all the efforts, Dr. (Raúl) Rubio has just passed away, which I have confirmed. Solidarity with his family, the fifth doctor who died from Covid-19 ”, wrote Ramos, who later confirmed to EL VOCERO that there are already 66 doctors infected by coronavirus on the Island.
“ Since July first there have been 31 (doctors infected) , so they have gone up a lot. The five deaths, three are after July first and as far as I know, two remain hospitalized, who are not connected to ventilators. (The number) of (infected) nurses is reaching 300, with three deaths, but respiratory therapy personnel, operating room technicians, hospital kitchen personnel, maintenance personnel have been infected ”, he specified.  The pediatrician was also emphatic in pointing out that in the same way that infections are increasing at a general level, doctors on the Island are also becoming infected. “We are the ones who take care of them (patients), so the infections are also increasing. in institutions, associated with hospitals and other health facilities, "he added.
To questions from this medium about what is his greatest concern with the spike in infections, Ramos replied:" Let the system collapse. For the doctor, it is speculative to say that Puerto Rico is approaching the collapse of the system, but he recalled that “the problem is that the sites that have collapsed were relatively well and after two or three weeks they collapsed; that is, when the collapse goes, you cannot stop it because a wave that you cannot stop is beginning. ”
Puerto Rico woke up yesterday with 24,446 confirmed and probable cases and 306 deaths after 11 additional deaths were reported due to Covid-19. In addition, there were 466 hospitalized, of which 80 were confined in the Intensive Care Unit and 57 were connected to an artificial respirator.
“Transmission is now more community based. The month of July had a particular element and there, more or less half of the infections were centered at the airport and the other half by community transmission, because July is the month that more Puerto Ricans travel to and from the United States to see relatives. In the same way, Dominicans to and from the Dominican Republic and Texas, Florida and the Dominican Republic are out of control, plus (long) weekends, ”he said.
He stressed that July was a really atypical month. “We expected that if most of the cases are from the airport, when this situation changes, then they will start to go down, but we are seeing that it is not going down. On the contrary, doing less tests we have more cases. So community transmission is increasing, ”he said.
For his part, the epidemiologist José Becerra warned that the rise in hospitalizations due to Covid-19 together with a high level of the positivity rate, is an indicator of increase in community transmission of SARS-CoV-2, as reflected in the epidemic curve of infections confirmed by molecular testing a week ago.
In an analysis with scientific data published on the platform of Consultas Epidemiológicas de Puerto Rico (Cepur), He added that if the increasing rate of Covid-19 cases confirmed from August 3 to 4 continues, and while deaths from this disease rise, more restrictive mitigation measures should be considered by the government to reduce community transmission. .
“In any event, it is necessary to redouble efforts by citizens regarding personal protection measures (hand washing, use of masks, distancing to prevent hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 ”, indicated the retired epidemiologist from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, for its acronym in English).