How to explain the increases in covid-19 cases during the weekend

On Saturday, the highest number of daily diagnoses of covid-19 was registered since January 23, while on Sunday 600 cases were exceeded, two « oscillations » with respect to the plateau that had been occurring for two weeks. The infectologist Henry Albornoz, advisor to the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) in the health emergency, attributed the rebound increased mobility in February and stated that it is necessary to wait to confirm « if these small oscillations can be the beginning of a new ascent or small oscillations in the plateau ».

In dialogue with El Observador, Albornoz recalled that many people returned from the license, while education prepares for the beginning of the school year with a higher level of presence. The infectologist recalled that this new stage, which affects various areas such as transport, will be reflected from the second half of March.

For her part, the mathematician and member of the Honorary Scientific Advisory Group (GACH), María Inés Fariello, said that « we have to see if the Carnival week hopefully had some effect, and we did not start to rebound from one ». « The rebound is probably due to increased mobility, and in the week of Carnival the mobility dropped, which may help to moderate the rise » In the next few days, the expert raised as a hypothesis in dialogue with El Observador.

The R – reproduction rate of the disease -, which indicates the average of how many people an infected person infects, was above 1 after staying below that level throughout the month, except for one occasion on February 15. A sustained value of this type implies a growth of the epidemic, although Albornoz warned that it is still too early to risk it.

The positivity – number of cases detected in the tests applied during the day – rose above 12% over the weekend, percentages similar to those registered in mid-January, when the country entered the red zone according to the Harvard P7 index. that implies more than 25 daily cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in the weekly average.

On the other hand, the number of active cases in Montevideo is on the rise since February 16, however far from the peak recorded in mid-January. With this Sunday’s report, the capital was home to 2,992 people with covid-19, similar to the figures recorded in the week before Christmas, when the GACH warned that its projections indicated 1,200 daily cases by the end of the year.

At the end of January, however, the capital left the red zone of the Harvard index – fewer than 25 daily cases per 100,000 inhabitants on the weekly average – for the first time in 40 days. «Montevideo had been working as the engine of the pandemic. The higher it goes up in Montevideo, the less likely it is to go down in the interior, since it works as an injection of cases ”, commented the mathematician Fariello.

The mayor of Montevideo, Carolina Cosse, had announced days ago that the commune would evaluate the measures in force 15 days after the Carnival week. « There we are going to announce new measures that hopefully will be opening, » declared the communal chief, who among other things determined the suspension of Carnival, the closure of municipal theaters and kept the closing hours of bars and pubs at midnight for health reasons.

For his part, President Luis Lacalle Pou will lead the Council of Ministers this Monday afternoon to assess the progress of the health emergency in the country. One of the knobs to be evaluated by the government will be the authorization of lIndoor contact sports and the use of changing rooms, at the request of National Secretary for Sports, Sebastián Bauzá. «If you don’t go back to the old protocols, Can’t start basketball league on March 1, because without changing rooms there is no league«, The hierarch asked El Observador.

Meanwhile, the arrival of the first vaccines to the country is « imminent, » according to what the MSP told the mutualists in a meeting they had on Friday.