The first Brazilian infected with the corona virus – the first ever on the South American continent – is a 61 – year old businessman. He was in Italy and was immediately hospitalized on arrival in São Paulo.
There are now other suspected cases, such as 300, which are currently being tested and are being monitored by the Ministry of Health for as long as possible. 34 of 58 Brazilians who were returned last Sunday from Wuhan in China, the epicenter of the disease, and at Anápolis Air Base in Brazil The state of Goiás had been quarantined after tests showed they were not infected.
The new corona virus was expected to reach Brazil, the Brazilian said Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta at a press conference in Brasilia on Wednesday. The “necessary measures” were taken and local governments in the provinces were instructed to draw up plans to contain the disease. An emergency committee has been set up in Sao Paulo. Health authorities warned the population not to panic. Unnecessary visits to the doctor or clinic would put unnecessary strain on health systems.
How does Sars-CoV-2 behave in a tropical country?
“Our health system has already experienced severe epidemics of respiratory diseases,” said Mandetta. Researchers and epidemiologists must now analyze how this new virus behaves in a tropical country. Brazil is prepared to test patients and ensure that confirmed cases are monitored and treated. Although Covid – 19 is a new disease, about which still not much is known, but it is an infectious respiratory disease like others, such as influenza flu, which one is constantly confronted with in Brazil and which last winter 589 Brazilians died.
Background about the corona virus:
- With face masks against the coronavirus? What really protects against the transmission of germs
- After staying in risk area: What to do if you suspect a coronavirus infection
- What you need to know about the corona virus: The 45 most important questions and answers
- What parents need to know about the corona virus: “Covid – 19 is not worse for children than flu “
- Dax crashes: Coronavirus creates Titanic mood in the financial markets
- Minister of Health in crisis mode: Coronavirus becomes a test for Jens Spahn
Experience with comparable epidemics is about 2009 made when the “swine flu” H1N1 reached the country. The flu vaccination campaign, which normally begins in late March in the southern hemisphere, is now to be brought forward. Flu vaccinations do not protect against infection with Sars-CoV-2, but they do reduce the number of people with influenza in the clinics in the event of a Covid – 19 – epidemic would require additional beds.
Incidentally, it is good that Covid – 19 came into the country in the summer, the Bolsonaro government is trying to calm the population. Because of the heat that reduces the lifespan of the viruses, the likelihood of spreading is reduced.
“Great fear of dying”
However, the population's confidence in the containment measures of the Jair Bolsonaro government appears to be limited. In the federal capital, Brasilia, the supply of masks and disinfectants in pharmacies is dwindling. The 43 – year-old domestic worker Maria de Jesus da Silva Nunes says she I'm “very afraid to die” if they get the corona virus. The hospitals here are not like those in developed countries. “We Brazilians spend 12 hours in line, to get normal primary care in a public hospital, ”says Maria de Jesus.
She fears that state health facilities will be overwhelmed when a coronavirus epidemic occurs in Brazil. The Brazilian takes preventive measures to protect herself. “I always wash my hands and have already bought an alcohol gel that I can carry in my pocket,” says Maria de Jesus.
“There is no need to panic”
Panic is out of place, says Fernando Socorro de Almeida, doctor for infectious diseases in Brasilia. “There is no need to panic because we only have one confirmed case and the contacts of this first patient are also being monitored.” But misinformation is a major problem among the Brazilian population and could make it difficult to contain the disease in the country. The usual hygiene rules, the use of disposable wipes when sneezing and the thorough washing of your hands would really help, says Socorro de Almeida.
This also applies not only in the case of this epidemic, but is also helpful for containing all viral respiratory diseases. “The annual H1N1 pandemic 2009 has shown this well, but unfortunately people are only worried if the disease is just occurring, ”says Socorro de Almeida. There is generally no prevention culture in Brazil.
The doctor advises that only those persons who have had previous 14 were in risk areas that had contact with an infected person and showed symptoms of the disease, such as fever and cough.
Brazilian companies lose market value
The Brazilian economy had already become known of the first Sars CoV-2 case in the country to deal with the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak. This situation could now worsen. The Brazilian Ministry of Economic Affairs, led by Paulo Guedes, expressed this concern.
In a video published on the Internet by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the coronavirus outbreak was responsible for the high dollar exchange rate compared to the Brazilian real. The Sao Paulo (B3) exchange declined on Wednesday and Thursday due to the country's first coronavirus case. According to the financial information company Economatica, companies listed on the B3 have 2 billion reais on Wednesday alone 290 lost in market value. That corresponds to 59, 5 billion euros.