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    Covid-19: decline and good news

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    Covid-19: buenas noticias

    Although we are no longer fully aware, the curve of COVID-19 infections in Ciego de Ávila is not descending as fast as the undeclared, but factual, normality in which the province lives would seem to suggest. Much has to do with the way the disease is progressing and the perception of the moment.

    Despite the fact that in recent days four Ciego de Ávila citizens have died, the apparent lower lethality of the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 and the changes in the action protocols have caused in some the false feeling that the pandemic is over. That is why every week we draw accounts and put certain numbers for the consideration of the public.

    The direct relationship between the number of patients in a given period, the saturation of the health system, the increase in associated deaths and the feeling of helplessness and fear (which can lead to collective hysteria), has already been demonstrated here as recently as last summer. In addition, as we pointed out a few weeks ago, forgetfulness is unheard of, even more so if we look at the accumulated figures.

    At the end of the first day of February, 125 positive autochthonous cases were reported, which, looking at them optimistically, would lead us to think that the shortest of months could consolidate the drop in incidence by stabilizing a plateau of a hundred daily positives. This despite the fact that only on January 28 the maximum peak for the current regrowth occurred, with 327.

    Of course, issues unrelated to the true behavior of the contagion may determine these daily levels. Throughout the confrontation, delays and interruptions in the laboratories have modified the figures for the day, for or against. It is also known that less is now being sampled, given the health and economic context. These are the reasons for doing analysis by periods, rather than day by day. However, the average of daily positives (153) allows us to have a good idea of ​​where we are going.

    In that sense, it would be time this week to dwell on what happened during the month of January. The beginning of 2022 was accompanied by a new wave, after the end of 2021 was the closest thing to tranquility that we had in the last 365 days. Ómicron was installed very easily and has been advancing rapidly, although with minor incidences, in part because a highly immunized population was found.

    Ciego de Ávila computed 4,760 autochthonous cases in just 31 January dawns, with which the period holds its own records: the worst start to the year and the fourth highest accumulated after July, August and September 2021. Why are we not as scared as then? We said it in a previous paragraph, death or gravity (including pandemic fatigue and daily emergencies) could explain how we reacted, even if 31 Ciego de Ávila citizens lost their lives.

    This Tuesday, the director general of the World Health Organization, Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, was very clear: “Since omicron was first identified 10 weeks ago, almost 90 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported. We are now starting to see a very worrying increase in deaths in most regions of the world. It is premature for any country to surrender or declare victory."

    Along these lines, the Cuban Minister of Health, José Ángel Portal Miranda, concluded his weekly publication with a warning: “We ask our people to act with prudence and responsibility. Vaccines alone are not capable of ending the epidemic.”

    Good news for allergy sufferers

    Speaking of vaccines, this week it was learned of the arrival in the territory of a batch of Abdala vaccines without Thiomersal, intended for people with allergies. Dr. José Luis López, deputy director of Epidemiology at the Provincial Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology, explained that the doses available at this time are not enough to immunize all those with allergies on the census.

    That is why vaccination for older adults will begin this Friday and will continue until Monday at the polyclinic vaccination clinics in each municipality. The family doctor and nurse will be in charge of notifying the elderly when to go to be immunized, with a scheme that includes three doses, with intervals of 14 days.

    According to the official, the rest of the allergic population should not despair, because the production of the immunogenic without Thiomersal will continue in the plants of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and another batch will arrive before the end of the month.

    At the end of January in Cuba, 9,831,581 people had completed their vaccination schedule—87.9 percent of the population—and of these, 5,358,553 had received their booster dose.