The federal government’s campaign calls fatal cases of the new coronavirus “rare”. According to the latest survey by age groups of the population, made available by the Ministry of Health, deaths of children under 60 represent 10% of the total in Brazil. However, when it comes to serious cases, youth and adults make up almost half.
According to this official analysis by age group, at the time the country registered 59 deaths, six victims were under 60 years old – about 10% of the total. Of the 391 serious cases, 188 (or 48%) were of young people and adults. Yesterday, the number of deaths rose to 92 (2.7% of the total of 3,417 cases), but the government portfolio did not disclose the division by age group.
“It is nothing unusual. This thing that young people will have no problem with [com o vírus] it is an illusion, it does not represent the reality of our hospitals “, says infectious disease specialist Naihma Fontana, who takes care of an ICU (intensive care unit) in Sorocaba, in the interior of São Paulo.
For her, by encouraging isolation only for the elderly, President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party) disregards the death rate and ignores the consequences left on those who survive severe cases of coronavirus.
“We have critically ill patients of all ages. They are 46, 48, 33 years old. All are intubated, on mechanical ventilation. The virus does not choose an age group. Of course older people die because of complications, but young people die, yes. They are in serious condition, yes “, says Fontana.
The infectologist understands that the state and part of the population must stop treating the matter as if it were numbers. He also says that it makes no sense for the government to disregard the mortality rates of victims under 60 years of age.
“They say that 2% is low lethality, but what if it is your father, your mother, your child? Then it does not represent 2%, it represents 100%! People must be aware”, says the doctor.
Sanitary doctor Sylvana Medeiros also says she does not understand the purpose of the campaign. For her, focusing only on the elderly does not make sense when it comes to controlling an epidemic.
“Children get less sick, but they get sick too. What to do with children who have chronic problems? Isolate them? And young people? If we don’t want to put our population at risk, we have to think about several fronts, in a way broad – not to mention isolating only the elderly, because young people, theoretically, die little “, says Medeiros.
Fontana points out that, even for young people who have overcome severe cases of covid-19, the experience is traumatic for the body and can have permanent consequences.
“People forget that, before dying, there are a series of events. They have no idea what it is like to be intubated with mechanical ventilation. This can lead to a series of complications”, says the infectologist.
According to the doctor, there are risks of the patient, young or not, with irreversible sequelae, such as permanent pulmonary fibrosis. “The patient will have a respiratory dysfunction for the rest of his life. So what? Is it just to separate the living and the dead? How are these patients who survived now?”
“The president’s statement shows how much he is totally unaware of what happens inside the ICU and in hospitals. We see more and more cases of covid-19 arriving daily, of all ages. If we are not confirming more, it is because there is no test , but the cases exist “, declares Fontana.
Speaking last Tuesday (24), amid criticism of home isolation, the president questioned the reason for closing schools, after all, children are not at risk. For Medeiros, with this type of comment, Jair Bolsonaro does not seem to understand basic concepts of how a society works.
“Schools do not work only with students. They work with teachers, administrators, cooks. Students are taken by parents, grandparents, drivers. The school creates a pace of community mobilization, brings people in the middle of the street, traffic”, says the doctor.
Nobody lives in isolation. If a child is infected by an adult, he can infect other children and other adults. And who lives with grandparents? What about young people with elderly parents? Won’t these also work? The president doesn’t seem to understand what life is like in a society. “
Naihma Fontana, infectologist
At the head of an ICU in Sorocaba (SP), Fontana also sees this type of campaign with concern, as the country does not have enough beds to serve the population, if the number of serious cases increases exponentially. She says the focus should be on mitigating damage, not increasing it.
“I made some calculations. Sorocaba has a population of 670 thousand inhabitants, with approximately 460 thousand adults, and 166 fixed ICU beds. If we followed all the recommendations and did everything right, we would need 192 throughout the epidemic. If we don’t do it and we arrive at the level of Italy, we would need 400! That alone Sorocaba, without considering the satellite cities. There will be a lack of beds. We had to dilute the serious cases, otherwise it will turn into a collapse “, declares the infectologist.
“The question is just one: you have to think as a whole, in the collective. The greatest despair for a doctor is not being able to accommodate a patient with respiratory failure, due to lack of structure. And that will happen, whether young, old, what There will be people dying in the corridor. And the president hasn’t realized it yet “, concludes Fontana.