Delta variant has community transmission in Pernambuco and

The government of Pernambuco confirmed, in an online press conference on Wednesday (18), that the delta variant is already circulating in the territory. On Thursday (12), a genetic sequencing carried out by the Aggeu Magalhães Institute (IAM/Fiocruz PE) revealed two samples with the strain in two men, residing in Abreu e Lima and Olinda.

So far, no link has been found among these positive patients, indicating the likelihood of circulating the delta variant in the state. When it is not possible to trace the origin of the infection, this means that the virus circulates among people, regardless of whether they have traveled to places where cases are registered.

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The secretariat will continue to investigate other possible contacts of the two positive cases. Secretary André Longo reinforced the importance of care and, especially, vaccination against covid-19. “The virus continues to circulate, with the introduction of worrying variants, such as the delta. Completing the vaccine schedule, with two doses, is essential for the effectiveness of the immunization”, highlighted Longo.

Pernambuco has already applied 7,064,104 doses of vaccines against covid-19 since the beginning of the immunization campaign in the state. Of this total, 2,111,763 people from Pernambuco completed their vaccination schedules, with 1,939,968 people who were vaccinated with immunizing agents applied in two doses and another 171,795 from Pernambuco who received vaccines applied in a single dose. According to IBGE, the estimated population in the state is 9,616,621 people. As such, the state has so far vaccinated approximately 73% of the population.

Delta variant already circulating in the state of Pernambuco / STEFANIE Loos / AFP

Testing Program

Also on Wednesday (18) the government announced TestaPE – a mass population testing program to detect covid-19. The initiative aims to test 10% of the state’s population over the next six months with 1,090,713 antigen tests to expand the offer of tests in strategic locations in the municipalities.

In this first stage, approximately 1.5% of the population of Pernambuco should be tested by the end of September with the first batch that contains 200 thousand exams. Each city must organize its logistics to test the population based on three axes: at the gateway to the health network (basic health units, polyclinics and Emergency Care Units); in places with large movement of people, such as integrated bus terminals and subway stations; and in public and private sector services, through partnerships with third sector institutions.

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“With more people tested, more samples are collected for genetic sequencing, providing greater sampling for detecting the strains circulating in our population”, argued the secretary, André Longo.

Similar to the RT-PCR test, the rapid antigen test is also done by collecting biological material from the patient’s nose and throat, with swab nasal. The difference is that the result, unlike RT-PCR, comes out in approximately 30 minutes. It is also not necessary to take it to the laboratory or use complex equipment to know the result. The indication is that the exam is done within ten days after the onset of symptoms, preferably between the fifth and seventh day. Like the RT-PCR molecular tests, the antigen test also detects the disease in its acute phase, when the infection is active and there is a greater risk of transmission.

Source: BoF Pernambuco

Edition: Vanessa Gonzaga

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