Friday, Jun 25, 2021

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Brazilian variants of COVID-19 spread in Panama, health workers ask reinforced biosecurity measures

Despite the significant decrease in COVID-19 cases in Panama, the spread of the virus does not stop. With the arrival of the Brazilian variants in the country, health professionals ask to reinforce individual biosafety measures.
Yesterday the director of the Gorgas Memorial Institute, Juan Miguel Pascale, announced that two Brazilian variants of the Sars-Cov-2 strain have been circulating in Panama (P1 and P2), probably for weeks.

These have been detected with random tests, in San Francisco, Ernesto Córdoba Campos, Alcalde Díaz, Parque Lefevre, San Miguelito and Don Bosco, as detailed by the head of epidemiology of the Ministry of Health, Leonardo Labrador.

It was known that of the nine confirmed cases, there is currently one hospitalized patient. The others have mild symptoms and remain isolated; while another nine cases are being studied to determine if it is the Brazilian variants.

Health authorities are studying whether it is community transmission or a cluster.

The alarm goes off when epidemiologists and scientists warn that these are the most contagious, virulent, pathogenic and transmissible variants of all the variants known so far worldwide.

P1 can be twice as transmissible and evade the immune response, as well as severely affect young people. In addition, with the exception of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, the effectiveness of the vaccine is reduced by 30%; while P2 is a little less transmissible.

Given these reports, the health authorities ask to maintain biosecurity measures such as physical distancing, avoiding crowds, the mandatory use of masks, and constant hand washing.

"The preventive measures remain the same," concluded Labrador.

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