Physician and specialist in health management, Ana Maria Malik, coordinator of FGV-Saúde, is optimistic. She recognizes the seriousness of the Ômicron wave and the impact it has on the health system, but believes that, in addition to being vaccinated, we are better prepared to face the new variant.
He also warns that the chance of new variants appearing will remain high as long as vaccination does not occur in all countries. “The virus is not silly.”
What are the main differences between the waves of previous variants and the current one, of Ômicron?
There are two big differences. Now the population is vaccinated. Not all, but a lot of people. And now doctors know what to do with patients.
In 2021, we saw the collapse of the healthcare system in many places. Do you think this could happen again?
The collapse was due to the fact that there was a lot of need for intensive care. This time, although there are more cases, and living with influenza, the need for intensive care is less to treat patients. We are living this wave of Ômicron with at least some prior know-how on how to face a health crisis of this proportions.
There are fewer admissions, but emergencies are crowded. What is the impact of this? Did these people all need to go to the hospital?
People feel safe going to the emergency services because they are in the hospital, they think that there is all the necessary infrastructure to assist them. When we discuss planning emergency units, we always take into account that there is urgency from the health point of view and urgency from the citizen’s point of view.
Some experts think that Ômicron may be the last variant, pointing to the end of the pandemic, due to its high transmissibility. Do you agree?
I think it’s an optimistic analysis, appropriate for the moment. But I just wanted to remind you that influenza has every year. So, probably, we will have some corona every year too, but with less serious consequences than in 2020 and 2021. But as long as there is no real vaccine availability for the whole world, the risk of the emergence of new variants is not small. The virus is not silly.
The information is from the newspaper. The State of São Paulo.
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