Since March 3, the day the first case of coronavirus was registered in the country, confirmed infected people amount to 966 in Argentina, of which already died 27 at the time this note is published.
He 50% of cases reported so far in the country are “imported” – a total of 489– that is, they correspond to people who were in any of the countries considered at risk. Almost the 25% (238 cases) correspond to close contacts with people who returned from a trip or were close to those already infected, such as health or airport workers. Meanwhile, until now, only 1% -10 cases- are contagions by community transmission. The rest -229- is under study.
From the first case detected in Argentina, until March 10, all positive infected persons (21) were “imported”. As of that day, the percentage of confirmed patients who had been infected in another country began to drop gradually, until reaching the figure last night, when the Ministry of Health reported that the percentage of “imported” cases was 50 percent.
A week later, on March 11, the first three cases of “close contact” were reported, out of a total of 31 confirmed that day. Since then, as the number of “imported” infections decreased, the number of those infected by “close contact” began to increase. According to the last official report, the percentage of patients using this route had risen to almost 25 percent.
These districts are, in turn, the ones with the highest number of confirmed infected, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Health of the Nation last night.
Buenos aires city have confirmed 292 affected due to the virus, the highest number in the country. The Buenos Aires province, others 253 cases positive; Santa Fe records a total so far of 110 cases; while Cordova Y Chaco accumulate 81 infections each.
Community transmission at the local level implies that the virus cannot be traced by not identifying the source of infection by someone who was abroad or in contact with a person who came from abroad. “It means that the virus is circulating freely in the population and it can affect anyone. This forces us to expand the definition of cases and study those who also have few symptoms – even if they have not been abroad – in order to isolate them and prevent further spread of the disease. Because, quarantine must be mandatory so that the virus has no one to reproduce in, limiting contacts to a minimum ”, explains López, a member of the committee of experts convened by the Argentine government to analyze the progress of COVID-19.
Regarding the impact of the restriction on going outside – which was extended for another two weeks on Sunday-, this professional affirms that “in the first seven days of quarantine, its effect cannot be assessed. Only on day 10 or 11, 98% of cases have any symptoms“
Of the total of 966 confirmed cases in the country as of last night, 57.5% are men and 42.5% are women. The main affected age groups correspond to people between 20 and 59 years old, the average age being 43 years.
A larger universe than reported
Nevertheless, the total number of confirmed cases exceeds that of official reports. “The universe of those reached by the virus is greater than the positives detected, because not all are being tested, and because in every epidemic there are asymptomatic patients or those with mild symptoms who do not come to the medical consultation or do not undergo the test” , warns this infectologist.
For this reason, López prefers to speak of a “pyramid” to reflect the scope of such an epidemic. “At the bottom are those who are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms; above are those who have symptoms but can remain under treatment without hospitalization; then those who do require internment; Near the tip are those requiring intensive therapy; and at the top of the pyramid, the dead. “
Neither in the daily reports nor on the website of the Ministry of Health, the total number of people tested in the country is reported, as well as those who were tested and found negative. But as he could know Infobae, the tests so far were 5,031, of which 4,065 tested negative Y 966 positives. This last number of confirmed represents 19% of the total.
While the deaths from coronaviruses in countries like Italy exceeded 11,000, or in Spain, 7,000, the figure in Argentina so far is 27 deaths.
The province with the highest number of deaths is Buenos Aires, with 9; CABA with 6; Chaco with 5; Neuquén and Tucumán, with 2 each; and LA Rioja, Mendoza and Córdoba, with one death each. The criterion of the Ministry of Health of the Nation to inform where the dead are from is the place of residence.
Beyond the number of deaths from coronavirus, epidemiologists recommend looking at the case fatality rate, that arises from the percentage of deaths with respect to the confirmed cases. In Argentina, so far, that indicator is 2.44%. This means that of every 100 confirmed, at least 2 lose their lives due to the disease, or complications derived from it. Italy, for example, has a case fatality rate of 11.03%; Spain, 8.49%; and China, 4.05 percent.
But the indicator of the lethality of the disease in the country – which is an index of the weakness / strength of the health system to save or not the life of an infected person- varies by province. According to data officially confirmed until last night by the Ministry of Health and the three known deaths this noon, The Rioja leads the case fatality rate with the 52-year-old doctor who died this morning, the only case detected so far in that district, which implies that this percentage is shot at 100%. Follows Tucuman, with 15 confirmed infections and 2 deaths, which registers a rate of 13.33%; Neuquen, with 20 cases detected and 2 deaths, which yields a rate of 10%; Mendoza, with one death out of 13 confirmed patients, has to date a fatality of 7.69%, Meanwhile in Chaco, the lethality is of the 6.17% with 5 dead out of 81 infected.
The Buenos Aires province – the conurbano is the territory that lights all the government’s alarms against the possible expansion of the epidemic – it registers for now a rate of 3.56%, with 9 dead out of 253 confirmed. Finally CABA, with 6 deaths out of 292 positive cases, has a rate of 2.05%, Y Cordova records to date, with one death out of 81 infected, the lowest: 1.23%.
Of the 27 deceased registered until this noon in the country, the 59% were men (16) and the 41% women (eleven). Seven of them were between 50 and 60 years old, and the remaining 20, over 60 years. This number of deaths of people above the age considered of “risk” is equivalent to the 74% of the total deaths in the country. The two oldest patients were 89 years old.
According to the latest official numbers, there were 240 patients discharged, 228 transitory and 12 definitive. That figure represents almost 25% of the 966 confirmed cases. The country is thus located in position number 15 of the “ranking of recovered”.
China shows, so far, a 93% of infected population recovered, which means that of every 100 people who were infected, 93 were discharged. It is the highest percentage of recovery worldwide. South Korea, taken as a “virtuous example” in the control of the disease “, is quite far with 52%. However, it must be considered that the time period analyzed is too short. There will be a clearer picture of this variable probably in late April.
How the investigation was processed
This information is included in a spreadsheet, where it is crossed with population data and by continent, detailing the following variables: confirmed cases, deaths, recovered, fatality rate, percentage of recovered in relation to confirmed and percentage of deaths in relation to total deaths.
In the case of Argentina, a count is carried out for confirmed, deceased and recovered cases as well as the distribution by type of transmission: imported, by close contact, by community transmission and under study.