Doctors recommend increased controls against the Omicron variant

Doctors in the country yesterday recommended stepping up biosecurity checks at airports and borders and speeding up vaccination ahead of the arrival of the Omicron variant on the continent. In addition, they agreed with the Ministry of Health, pointing out that closing the borders was not the correct measure for the time being.

The Minister of Health and Sports, Jeyson Auza, ruled out closing the national borders for the time being yesterday in order to prevent the entry of the Omicron variant after the cases in Peru and Brazil were confirmed.

“Currently, border closure is not recommended until the characteristics of this variant are determined,” said Auza. Bolivia will therefore wait for the results of scientific studies on this variant in order to make “responsible and informed decisions,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister for Promotion, Epidemiological Surveillance and Traditional Medicine, María Renée Castro, reaffirmed to the population that there is a need to increase biosafety measures such as the use of a mask and observe social distancing.

Medical School President Luis Larrea said: “It is not necessary to close the borders, but it is necessary to strengthen the airports, the entry points.”

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“Today we continue to see at the airport that only the temperature is measured; You don’t diagnose anything with the temperature and we tell the minister. There is no strategy in Bolivia; It just has to be ensured that the people who come from these places (affected by the new variant) have PCR tests and, in this case, would also be in quarantine, they are not calling for the borders to be closed. , he added. .

Former Health Minister Guillermo Accounts added that “the (border) restrictions must be put in place, but those countries that have a very large flow of trade.” And in the Bolivian case, the measure could be adopted if an explosion of cases in neighboring countries is reported and is the dominant variant.

“What is not being done is re-isolating the world and suspending flights. The same prevention programs are still being used, biosecurity maintenance is being maintained, vaccinations are being enforced, programs need to be expanded, ”he recommended.

What is known

The PAHO / WHO representative in Bolivia, Alma Morales, pointed out that it is not yet known exactly whether the Omicron variant is more transmissible than the previous variants or whether it increases the mortality rate.

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“Unfortunately, the countries have closed their borders, which is neither recommended by the WHO nor enshrined in international health regulations,” he said, quoted by EFE.

There are reports that the Omicron variant is already in circulation in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Spain, Italy, the USA, Israel and South Africa, among others. This week the first cases were reported in Brazil and one case in Peru, the first in Latin America. Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Paraguay have banned people from Africa from entering the country.

COED Santa Cruz marked 14 actions

The Santa Cruz Departmental Emergency Operations Committee (COED) yesterday approved 14 measures to contain the rise in Covid-19 cases after declaring a health emergency.

Among the most prominent points, the COED requires the government to “provide health items to strengthen hospital care”. He also called for the Montero Hospital to be reopened in order to strengthen the system of care for people in hospital.

He also called on the department’s health council to “suspend or explain a gap for the health strike measure he had declared”.

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