At a time when the whole world is aware of the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19 – and the mass immunization effort continues, doctors and health organizations insist on the call to protect themselves during the time to reduce the spread of both coronavirus and influenza.
The president of the College of Surgeons, Víctor Ramos, stressed yesterday that it is important that citizens continue to take measures to avoid contagion. “We are concerned about last Christmas weekend and this farewell week of the year. We already had problems with the elections, we had problems with Thanksgiving and if we see a rebound two weeks after these dates, clearly it will be associated with these days, “Ramos told THE SPOKESMAN.
The College of Surgeons is one of the organizations that collaborates in the vaccination process against Covid-19. At the moment it has immunized 1,500 health professionals, but the number should continue to increase as the entity receives more vaccines. As of yesterday, Puerto Rico had 127,798 confirmed, suspected and probable coronavirus cases, while the total number of deaths amounted to 1,445.
Against this background, another organization that calls not to lower our guard is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, for its acronym in English), which indicates that “the best way to celebrate the holidays is to do it at home and with the people who live with you ”.
“Meetings with family and friends who do not live at home can increase the probability of catching or spreading Covid-19 or influenza,” they warn.
For Dr. Ibrahim Pérez and demographer Judith Rodríguez, Covid-19 cases had been on the rise since the beginning of the great rebound in the week of October 5, with an average of 332 cases per day. “We reached the peak the week of November 16 (778 daily average cases) until the downward pattern confirmed in the last week (December 14 to 20), which registered 403 daily average cases, the lowest average in the last eight weeks” they stressed.
In their recent report on the Covid-19 situation in Puerto Rico, Pérez and Rodríguez point out that November was the worst month of the pandemic with 18,717 infections, which is equivalent to an average of 624 cases per day.
“(The month of) December has 12,543 positives in its first 24 days (523 daily average). In the first ten days of December, the daily average of positive cases was 709 cases; in the second ten days of December it dropped to 612 ”, they detailed.
The pattern of over 700 cases per day was maintained for seven consecutive days from December 3 to 9. However, it was reduced for seven consecutive days to between 600 and 699 daily average cases from December 10 to 16, until it finally remained between 500 to 599 daily average cases from December 17 to 20, according to health experts.
In the case of people hospitalized due to Covid-19, it should be noted that after a pattern of over 600 hospitalized daily from November 19 to December 13 – a period that included the mark of 657 hospitalized on December 9 – a streak with fewer than 600 hospitalized on December 14 – except for the 16th – including 446 hospitalized on December 26, a number that had not been seen since November 1.
Yesterday Puerto Rico had 445 hospitalized, of which 89 were in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), including a minor and 85 connected to a ventilator, according to data published in the ‘dashboard’ of the Department of Health.
“(The month of) November has been the month with the most deaths from Covid-19 (311 deaths), 10.4 daily average. In November, the mark of 19 deaths in one day occurred, on November 15, two days before the highest number of positive cases (1,137) of the pandemic was registered. However, December remains tied with November in its first 26 days with 270 deaths and a daily average of 10.4 ”, indicate Pérez and Rodríguez in the report sent to THE SPOKESMAN.
The Secretary of Health, Lorenzo González Feliciano, admitted to this medium that between 10 and 12 people were dying daily. The official had expressed concern that the deaths were leaving the traditional range of data that had been seen since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“You cannot ignore the executive order, particularly the use of a mask, physical distancing and more now in the context of family reunions, that people have been told that family reunions can be with members who live under the same roof, but it is not that they are going to bring people from the periphery, neighbors, relatives from abroad or from other towns because that can be a process of community contagion, “he said.
While the call grows not to lower our guard in the Christmas festivities and to continue with the due precautions to avoid contagions, the exhortation to citizens to be vaccinated against Covid-19 also continues. Yesterday, the doctor and senator Carlos Rodríguez Mateo recommended to Puerto Ricans that they get vaccinated against the coronavirus because “there are many historical examples of the victory against health conditions after a vaccination and this will not be the exception.”
The mayor of Barranquitas, Elliot Colón Blanco, announced for his part that vaccination against Covid-19 has begun for first responders and health professionals. In the first round, about 388 health workers were vaccinated. “The process flowed very well and hundreds of professionals came to get vaccinated,” he reported.