Restrictive social measures to control COVID-19

Clara Figueiredo, - so what_, digital photomontage, 2020


The current pandemic control measures in force in the PLAN SÃO PAULO are insufficient to reduce the transmission of the virus

The Sociedade Paulista de Infectologia (SPI) makes public our enormous concern with the current state of Covid-19 in Brazil, and in the State of São Paulo in particular. There is a complete disconnect from everyday life with the reality of the pandemic. The new variants in circulation, the lack of an effective and quick vaccine program, the fatigue in the face of prevention and control measures and the denialism rooted in critical segments of our Society, especially political and economic ones, constitute a real threat to our life.

Variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, have more effective dissemination mechanisms, and there is a risk that they will escape the previous immune response and/or vaccine-induced. They take advantage of the absolute lack of distance to expand throughout Brazil and the world. They thus result in more contagion, reinfections, illnesses and deaths, with the rapid depletion of our assistance capacity. They involve young people, adults and the elderly, vulnerable or not. It is still necessary to emphasize, there are no effective therapies against SARS-CoV-2.

Severely ill patients have a high death rate and severe sequelae, despite the best care resources. What will you say in the midst of chaos where even oxygen may lack? In terms of prevention, slow vaccination, in population groups, is bound to not result in effective protection in a timely manner. Following this pace, in which expressive marks of death and infections occur at increasingly brief intervals, we cannot have another scenario in mind, if not, the collapse of health. And in the midst of chaos there is no life, there is no economy, there is nothing but uncertainty.

There are successful experiences and enough reports in the Scientific Literature for us to know that this scenario can, and needs to, be reversed. However, while in February the global incidence of Covid-19 fell by half in the world, it continues to accelerate in Brazil. This situation brings us risks of collapse, not only for health, but for society as a whole. Economy and life in society are inseparable from health. And this prioritizes life.

The current pandemic control measures in force in PLANO SÃO PAULO are insufficient to reduce the transmission of the virus. Therefore, we address the Honorable Governor and State authorities, requesting public policies that include greater rigidity in social distancing and control of population mobility. These measures require greater restrictions on non-essential services in regions of the state that are not critically affected by the pandemic, and lockdown with a prolonged curfew (for example, from 20:00 p.m.) in those who are close to the breakdown of care. They also include expansion of the testing offer and greater speed in vaccine strategies.

To the population, we recommend distancing (at least 1,5 meters from one person to another), correct and continuous use of well-fitting masks on the face, hand hygiene and – above all – staying at home as long as possible.

Each measure in isolation (and especially the set of all) impacts the transmission or control chain. It is the responsibility of every citizen to comply with the rules to protect themselves and others. It is up to the State to supervise and provide scientifically based conditions for the fulfillment of these preventive actions. São Paulo, February 27, 2021

Board of Directors of the Paulista Society of Infectology



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