With almost 50% of its population fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, Uruguay begins to overcome its worst health moment, which was suffered in April and May. Indices of the pandemic show an improvement, but the country remains alert for the threat of the Delta variant.
In just one month, the country of 3.5 million inhabitants significantly reduced the number of active cases of the disease. From the peak of 36,121 in late May to 13,657 this Friday.
At the same time, in the last ten days he had an average of 1,430 infections per day, far from the record of 4,604 new cases reached on May 21.
The number of patients with covid-19 in intensive care shows a strong reduction: it went from a peak of 587 people on June 2, a number that represented 56% of the total occupation of intensive care beds, to 270 this Friday (27%).
And there is also a drop in deaths, the variable that takes the longest to reflect the ups and downs of pandemic management.
After remaining for several weeks as the country with the most daily deaths in relation to its population, with a record of 79 deaths on April 15, it now reaches an average of 31 daily deaths in the last 14 days.
The experts assure that improvement is closely tied to high vaccination rates, whose campaign began on March 1 with an intense rhythm.
65% of the population received at least one dose of Pfizer, CoronaVac or Astrazeneca, and 49.15% already have the complete two-dose scheme.
Monday is expected to reach half of the population fully vaccinated.
A line to receive the coronavirus vaccine in Paso de Carrasco, Uruguay. Photo: AFP
Only 6.5% of people who signed up to get vaccinated are still waiting to be immunized.
The government is betting on capturing 12% of those authorized – all those over 12 years old – who have not yet registered to receive their doses.
“Vaccines for all”
“Uruguay has vaccines for everyone,” the Secretary of the Presidency, Álvaro Delgado, said this week, after assuring that the country acquired 7.5 million doses from the three laboratories.
“It is not a slogan, it is a reality,” he insisted, and called for those who have not yet done so to enroll in the vaccination registry.
At the current rate, the country will reach 70% of its population fully vaccinated in August.
The natural immunity achieved by the inhabitants after the high numbers of infections also acts as a barrier that is added to that of vaccination.
Uruguay resumed face-to-face classes for primary school in June and now classrooms will open for all secondary schools. Photo: XINHUA
Uruguay has registered 371,417 cases of covid since March 2020, which implies that at least 10% of its population had the disease.
The strong rise in cases in the first months of 2021, after a 2020 that established him as an exemplary student in the control of the pandemic, had as a fundamental driver the Gamma variant, known as P1 and originated in Manaus, in neighboring Brazil .
Restrictions and reopening
This antecedent magnifies the threat of Delta, responsible for the increase in cases in much of the globe and which hangs like a sword of Damocles in the Uruguayan recovery, which has mostly vaccinated with the Chinese-made CoronaVac vaccine.
The country still does not register cases of this variant born in India, but authorities and experts clarified that this will happen sooner or later.
In this context, the government reinforced the conditions of entry into the country, with the requirement of a PCR before entering and another at seven days, or quarantine of two weeks, even for those vaccinated or naturally immunized.
But it is also making steady progress in opening activities. On Monday the public shows are enabled and events in ballrooms, and movie theaters are reopening in various departments.
It is also expected that this month they will return to the classrooms of high school students, after the high vaccination rates among adolescents, a precursor experience in the region.