Our researcher talked about why she believes Chile is at the worst time in the pandemic despite the successful vaccination campaign
90% of the country is under strict quarantine. In Santiago there are no face-to-face classes and, except for special cases, you can only go out and buy food twice a week with a safe conduct. The look of three Chilean specialists in TN.com.ar.
Chile, leader of the coronavirus vaccination campaign in Latin America and on the global podium alongside Israel and the United Kingdom, faces today a rare paradox. On the one hand it is advancing rapidly in the immunization process and on the other it goes through the hardest stage of the pandemic.
“We are at the best time and at the same time at the worst time”, summed up TN.com.ar the Chilean epidemiologist and public health expert Juan Carlos Said.
Today more than 90% of the country's population, of 19 million inhabitants, it's under a strict quarantine almost a month ago.
In the metropolitan region of Santiago, where more than 7 million people live, There's curfew between 21.00 and 05.00. The schools operate under virtual mode and the Letters that are processed in a virtual police station. A family has a maximum of two permits a week to go groceries, medicines or necessities, although essential workers are allowed to move, as well as those who need medical treatment.
It is estimated that bed occupancy in the so-called integrated network that includes public hospitals and private clinics is already at 95%. Coronavirus cases this year peaked at 9125 per day, although the average was around 7,500 daily infections in the last week with a downward trend.
Between darkness and light
In dialogue with this site, Said said that currently "it has been reached the worst time in critical bed occupancy with the highest number of hospitalized in Intensive Care Units in the entire pandemic".
"We are at the likely peak of the second wave. Those are the negatives", said.
In return, the specialist commented that vaccination is progressing "in an accelerated way and nearly 30% of the population has two doses of the vaccine”.
"They are immunized and are starting to see the first signs of this vaccination, especially with a drop in infections in people over 60 to 70 years of age”, Emphasized.
However, warned that new strains of Manaus and the United Kingdom have increased the number of cases: "This situation is helping to collapse the hospital system, although on the other hand you are starting to see an improvement".
The vaccination campaign
The Chilean immunization process received high international praise and is often put on example at the global level.
Said said this has been possible because the Sebastian Piñera was able to "negotiate early with various international suppliers" the supply of sera.
Today Chile immunizes with the Chinese vaccine Sinovac in 90% of cases. The remaining 10% is accounted for by Pfizer. The big drawback that the campaign has shown is that Chinese serum was revealed to be ine cash with a single dose. This effectiveness is in the order of 16% according to a recent study by the Ministry of Health.
Until this week, 40% of the population had received at least one dose of some of the vaccines and 28%,5 %, two doses.
“To cut the contagion a single dose of Sinovac is very low”, indicated by the expert.
On the other hand, the Chilean epidemiologist and public health specialist Ximena Aguilera, coVID-19 advisory board member of Chile's Ministry of Health, said vaccines are already having an impact on older adult groups.
"You can already see the flattening (of the curve) incidence of people vaccinated. The point now is that transmission is occurring in people in their 20s and 60s. As we move forward with them, we're going to have more impact", said in dialogue with TN.com.ar.
However, pointed out that the emergence of the new variants of Manaus and the United Kingdom, who already have Community circulation, affected "younger groups in particular", whose hospitalizations extend further over time and cause greater stress in the health system.
Aguilera, director of the Center for Epidemiology and Health Policy (Porcini) faculty of German Clinical Medicine University of Development, said the advanced vaccination campaign begins to see its fruits. “You have tended to see a small decrease in cases in the last few days", said.
Lights and shadows
Catterina Ferreccio, deputy director of the Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases (ACCDiS ) and also a member of the COVID-19 advisory committee of the Ministry of Health, told TN.com.ar that the fight against the pandemic had "lights and shadows" in the Trans-Andean country.
"On the one hand the government emphasized improving hospital infrastructure and obtaining vaccines and that executed it very efficiently. But there was never a process of isolating the infectants, which is the only way to cut off transmission of the virus. They were committed to achieving a herd immunity. That was the shadow that haunts us", said.
He added: "The borders were also not closed when this measure was recommended because they continued to bet on the vaccine and to have hospitals under control. And now there are in the country the variants of Manaus and the United Kingdom that affect all those who are not vaccinated in large quantities".
Ferreccio said that all of this explains the current epidemic who expect it to start going down.
When the pandemic will be mastered
The expert is convinced that Chile will be able to control this outbreak and added: "We can't talk about mastering the virus nowhere as long as we continue with this number of infected".
"The countries that have had the greater impact worldwide they have been the ones who have not wanted to do traceability. And the ones you've had less social and economic impact are the ones who have closed the border to the virus, have isolated the infectious and allowed the rest of the population to continue their activities", held.
Aguilera, at the same time, was optimistic. “We can hope. If the population continues to be vaccinated we should have an effect, not to fully control the pandemic, but it does to lower the pressure on the health network".
In both, Said concluded: "The situation is going to get progressively better. The pandemic could be more under control around July and August.".