Amid the widespread wave of infections from COVID-19 from the arrival of the Ómicron strain, the Ministry of Health decided to establish a new definition for the confirmation of COVID-19 cases by clinical and epidemiological criteria. Also, concerned about the imminence of the start of classes, he will promote actions together with the provinces to advance with greater impetus in the vaccination of children and adolescents. With more than 100,000 daily infections, it seeks to avoid taking restrictive measures that prevent attendance after the strong questioning of the last two years.
The decisions were made after the Federal Health Council (COFESA) headed by Minister Carla Vizzotti, along with their provincial peers. “The formulation of the epidemiological criteria to confirm a COVID-19 case will be expanded,” Official sources informed this medium. And they added that “impulse and coordination will be given to the areas of Health and Education, at the provincial level, to accelerate vaccination for the school year”.
The new definition establishes that any person who meets at least one of the epidemiological criteria and one of the established clinical criteria will be classified as a confirmed case.
Thus, any person who has had close contact with a confirmed case in the last 10 days; or who has participated in an event or social/work space in which there have been at least 3 confirmed cases (outbreak); or who resides in an area with a very high incidence (more than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days) and who has two or more symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, vomiting/diarrhea/pain headache/muscle pain) or sudden loss of taste/smell, will be considered a confirmed case of this disease.
The number of daily cases exceeded 120,000 infections and the testing centers are collapsed. In addition, supplies for swabs are lacking. From the Government they have been promoting measures aimed at relaxing the measures for those people who are vaccinated with complete schemes -two doses- and with reinforcement, and They seek that not all those who have symptoms have to be tested.
At the beginning of January, the Government had already defined modify the demands of the State to the citizens to reduce the tension in the testing centers. They then determined that no more swabbing close contacts, whether or not they have symptoms. Days ago, the Buenos Aires Minister of Health, Nicolás Kreplak, had slipped that it was unnecessary to continue counting the cases. For now in the Nation they rule out stopping the count.
In the previous COFESA meeting, 10 days ago, Vizzotti had modified the criteria for compliance with the isolation of close contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19 according to their vaccination status. He recommended, then, that close contacts who have applied the third dose for more than 14 days and do not present symptoms, will be exempt from mandatory isolation. There were strong claims from the private sector due to the high levels of absenteeism that slowed down activity in different areas, many already hit by the strong economic crisis.
Now the Government took another step in relaxing the measurements, framed at a time of the pandemic that the minister herself considered days ago as part of a “process” towards an endemic stage “because of the number of people who develop immunity to the virus.” Although he recalled, in dialogue with the agency Telam, that this could be delayed due to the eventual emergence of a new variant “that complicates us”.
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