The emergence of a new subvariant of the coronavirus, the poor adherence to booster doses of vaccines and the crowds in the electoral campaign increased the transmission of the virus once again. In São Paulo, the resumption of the covid-19 pandemic quickly increased diagnoses and hospitalizations for the disease in the SUS (Unified Health System) and in private hospitals, such as Albert Einstein and Sírio Libanês.
“The data point to an accelerated growth in hospital admissions in covid beds in the state in the last two weeks”, he told the UOL the coordinator of Info Tracker, a pandemic monitoring platform at USP and Unesp state universities in São Paulo.
As the Ministry of Health did not consolidate the national hospitalization data, Info Tracker collected the information in the state of São Paulo, capital, Greater São Paulo and countryside.
The researcher and professor at Unesp says that the concern is greater in the capital and the Metropolitan Region, in “an escalation that began two weeks ago”.
“The capital has currently concentrated 60% of new hospital admissions across the state”, he calculates. “This increase begins to reverberate, albeit to a lesser degree, in the regions adjacent to the Metropolitan Region, such as Sorocaba, Campinas and São José dos Campos.”
A general increase across the state is expected in the coming weeks.”
Wallace Casaca, from Info Tracker
Einstein, Sírio, São Camilo: what about the private network?
The increase in cases and hospitalizations was also noticed by the private health network. See what they said to UOL six private hospitals with a unit in São Paulo:
Albert Einstein Hospital. “Einstein has been noticing an increase in the positivity rate of covid-19 in tests carried out in recent weeks”, confirmed the hospital. At the Morumbi unit, a small increase was noted in the week from September 18 to September 24, when positivity jumped from 1.9% to 2.1% of tests.
From October 30th to November 5th, positivity jumped to 28.5%. Thus, the number of hospitalized patients also grew: from 16 to 51 from September 18 to November 11.
Despite the 218% increase in the number of hospitalizedEinstein says it has “flexibility to meet the increase in demand, not being necessary, in advance, to allocate specific areas for the disease”.
Syrian-Lebanese Hospital. With an average of seven to ten cases per day, Sírio Libanês noticed an increase to 12 daily cases as of October 31. Since then, that number has not stopped growing, peaking this week.
On November 8, “we had an increase to 22 cases of hospitalized patients, confirmed or with suspicion, of which four were in the ICU”, says the health unit in a note.
On November 11, there were 26 hospitalized patients.”
Hospital Sírio Libanês, in a note
Oswaldo Cruz Hospital. In a note, Oswaldo Cruz states that the number of covid tests in the first week of October is similar to that of the first week of November, “260 and 263, respectively”.
“However, positivity, which was 1%, rose to 50%” in this period, he says.
“We recorded an increase of 57% in the average attendance per day: from 54 in the first week of October to 85 attendances per day in the first week of November”, he says.
The number of hospitalizations jumped from four to 14 patients per day in inpatient beds and from one to three in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) beds.
Saint Louis Hospital. Rede D’Or São Luiz did not report the number of hospitalized patients only in the capital. In its 65 units distributed throughout Brazil, it claims to have “250 patients hospitalized with covid-19”.
In 22 days, the increase in hospitalizations was 90%. See the evolution of the last four weeks:
- 10/20: 132 hospitalized patients
- 10/27: 131 hospitalized patients
- 11/03: 176 hospitalized patients
- 11/11: 250 hospitalized patients
Vila Nova Star Hospital. The health unit of Rede D’or, in the south of the capital, recorded an increase “of more than 10 times in the cases of covid-19 detected in patients who were admitted to the service over the last month”.
“The positivity of tested patients went from 4% in the first week of October to 47% this week”, he says in a note. “The hospital began to identify an increase in cases from the second half of October, with 33% of positive tests in the week of 10/16 to 10/22, 32% in the following week and 41% in the period between October 30 and November 5th.”
The number of visits to people with flu-like syndrome grew 23% in the period: from 70 patients per week to 91 in the first week of November.
“The vast majority of cases are patients with mild conditions, without the need for hospitalization, a very different scenario in relation to the most critical moments of the pandemic”, says Pedro Loretti, director general of the hospital.
Hospital San Camillo. “The São Camilo de São Paulo Hospital Network informs that, this Friday (11), it has 22 patients hospitalized for treatment of covid-19 in its units, of which 4 are in the ICUs”, it says in a note. “The number represents an oscillation in relation to the same period of the previous month, in which three patients were hospitalized with the disease.”
Subvariant arrives in Brazil
One of the reasons for the increase in cases was the arrival in Brazil of a new subvariant of the coronavirus. Diagnosed with BQ.1, a 72-year-old woman with comorbidities died on October 17 after a week in the São Paulo Hospital.
Derivatives of the variant BA.5, gives ômicron, the subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 already accounted for 27% of the cases in the United States as of October 29. In Germany, France, Italy, South Korea and New Zealand, they raised the average of new cases above the high level of 300 per 100 thousand inhabitants, according to the WHO (World Health Organization).
The main characteristic of BQ.1 is a much greater escape from vaccine protection thanks to mutations in the spike protein, located on the surface of the virus and responsible for connecting it to the body’s cells.
Agglomeration in elections. As if the arrival of a new version of the virus were not enough, Brazil some time ago abandoned the main health measures, such as wearing a mask, in the middle of an election year, when candidates gather voters in marches and rallies.
“There was a lot of crowding even before the election, in the two weeks before the vote, which also accelerated the rate of contamination”, says Casaca.
“I was contaminated in a march.” That’s what happened to chef Patrícia D’Ávilla, 46, who was infected for the first time on October 19.
“That day there was a walk with Lula in Porto Alegre, and I said: ‘I’m going’. It was there that I got infected, for sure”, he says. “Around the 23rd, on a Saturday, I woke up with a severe headache and a pain in my eyes, it wasn’t a little flu. When I woke up, it felt like I was nailed to the bed: a week with tiredness and body aches.”
Diagnosed, she was isolated at home and used paracetamol to reduce symptoms. “It’s been two weeks and I still have a sore throat,” she says.
My advice is to avoid agglomeration, especially those who have comorbidity. The pet is still around; we are not free from it. If you took the vaccine, like me, the symptoms will pass, but if you haven’t been vaccinated, avoid riots, partying.
Patricia D’Ávilla, chef
Will there be a new wave?
Casaca prefers to call the increase in cases a rebound, since the severity of cases is lower than in the past, with fewer hospitalizations and deaths. On the other hand, the infectious disease specialist at the Emílio Ribas Institute of Infectious Diseases, Rosana Richtmann, says that she “would call it a new wave, even if it was a ripple”, due to the increase in cases, the arrival of the holiday season and the relaxation of sanitary measures.
“I don’t want to scare anyone because the severity of the cases is really much lower, but we have a tendency,” he says. Richtmann. “It is indisputable that the number of cases is clearly increasing.”
What to do now? “Viruses change, but the recommendations are the same: one of the villains of transmission is our hands: always sanitize with alcohol in gel or soap to reduce the possibility of contamination of the environment and contaminate yourself”, says the doctor.
I recommend to the most vulnerable to wear a mask on public transport, especially at peak times. If any family member is symptomatic at the end of the year, have the common sense to respect the most vulnerable and avoid parties.
Rosana Richtmann, infectious disease specialist