MOH confirms Surge in Covid-19 cases in El Salvador

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By LatAm Reports Editor

The minister of the sector reported that in the private sector there were nine positive cases and 10 in the public area in one day. This has been the trend, according to reports generated until January 10.

The Minister of Health, Francisco Alabí, confirmed an upward trend in the number of positive cases to covine-19 and respiratory diseases recorded in the health system at the national level.

The trend of increased disease responds to the climatic conditions experienced in recent weeks, together with the flow of foreign tourists who visited the national territory during December.

It is important to know that there are always certain periods in which there may be an increase in respiratory diseases, this is very important because currently there is talk of influenza, respiratory syncytial viruses and also the issue of covine-19, the official told the media, after participating in a morning interview on the state Channel 10.

Alabí stressed that – currently in our country we have observed how these diseases are in a security zone and that is very important to take into account.

According to the official, health reports indicate that there are five patients admitted to El Salvador Hospital for complications caused by the virus, while in the rest of the hospitals there is no income for this issue, since all patients who need to be admitted must be referred.

However, it is difficult to compare increases, as the ministry does not issue the daily records.

Recently, different specialists, such as Dr. Iván Solano Leiva, warned about the increase in cases of covid-19 in private clinics, so they asked the government to clarify the situation with respect to the public sector.

The latest reports

The Ministry of Health register indicates that nine positive cases were detected in private laboratories on 9 January and another 10 in national laboratories.

With this we can dimension what is the number of cases that is happening, I see many experts talk that they routinely see cases of covid-19, but the report of the private laboratories that are the same laboratories that give them the results that they see in the sector for yesterday they give us 9 tests, said the minister arguing that this figure has been the trend in private laboratories.

The official did not ruled out that the virus responsible for the increase in cases is the new subvariant of Omicron JN.1, from the BA.2.86 lineage, better known as “Pirola,” but the results of the genomic sequencing process of the national reference laboratory must be awaited.

The JN.1 variant has shown at the international level to be highly contagious compared to previous mutations of the virus, as well as to present a better degree of resistance to defenses naturally developed by the body and the biological injections.

The minister pointed out that infections caused by Omicron are easily in transmission, but short of aggressiveness. The characteristic of JN.1 is that the ease of transmission has been even more.

For this reason, the official stressed the call to the population to complete their vaccination scheme in the nearest care units as well as to strengthen the biosafety measures already known and implemented during the pandemic.

Authorities have repeatedly pointed out that respiratory diseases are in an area of safety.

However, epidemiology specialists have pointed out that it is not possible to confirm this data because there is no update of the diseases under surveillance until December 16, 2023, a problem that was repeated very frequently during the last year.

Sprout of infections

Weeks earlier, infectology doctors had warned of the increase in patients with flu symptoms and for three weeks confirmed covine-19 cases were on the rise.

Dr. Solano Leiva said: “At this time (in the country) there is an outbreak of acute respiratory infections associated with covid-19. Of five daily consultations I’m attending, the five patients test positive to covid.

According to the expert in recent months, respiratory diseases have increased due to rains, but until the last three weeks an outbreak of covid has been observed.

Agglomerations in the tourist spots of the territory have played a key role in the spread of viruses. “I remember that the first cases are seen in Salvadorans who have been abroad and then it takes a little while to penetrate the virus in the Salvadorans who remain inside the country,” he said in an interview.

Other infections on the rise

At the end of 2023, representatives of the Medical College warned of a 42 per cent increase in mumps cases, a disease would have had upward behavior in the last five years.

For experts these issues are worrying because it is a completely preventable disease through vaccination.

Six months earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that El Salvador had presented low vaccination coverage since 2020.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in El Salvador