Infectious disease specialist José Poças argues that assuming the responsibility of citizens and massive testing of people are the key to being able to distrust by controlling the pandemic.
In an interview with Agência Lusa, the director of the Infectious Diseases Service at the Centro Hospitalar de Setúbal, one of the regions on the outskirts of Lisbon that was most affected in January, by the third wave of the covid-19 pandemic, said that the success lies in the balance of the conjugation between economy and health.
"The key to the combination of economy and health is necessary (...), because within 15 days we may be exaggerating the measures, to say it very sincerely", defended the doctor, specialist in Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Medicine of the Traveler.
How can you suspect without risking another wave identical to the one that in January clogged hospitals? “I only see one way, with two aspects: First, the citizen has to take responsibility for his behavior, this is crucial, because he was praised too much. (…) Second, the testing ”.
“We need [rapid] tests, (…) even though we know they are less effective. Some countries have already opted for this strategy, because the tests based on saliva, which the patient can do, can be done at the entrance of schools, for example, once a week, every day, in hospitals or at the entrance of the cinema. ”, Exemplified.
For José Poças, the ideal is the massification of testing, "desirably with tests with an obviously robust enough performance".
"I believe that we will get there, and the day we get there (...) all the money that is spent on these tests will be reversed in the non-closing of the economy", he defended.
The official cites an editorialist from Nature magazine to defend that there should be two daily bulletins, one on time and one on the emergence of potentially very dangerous microorganisms.
“This will be monitored and what I propose is: it was much cheaper for everyone to pay so that a country where this [health emergency] happened could close completely until there was no export of that microorganism”, suggested José Poças, adding: “ What happened now was that people ignored it ”.
“If we cannot close the world,” he underlined, “we have to keep it open, but we can assume that it is to pay, as this has enormous costs, but it would have been millions of times cheaper, millions of times more effective. And this should apply to the whole world, wherever it goes, ”he said.
The official stressed the importance of studying not only emerging diseases, truly new microorganisms, but those that, being already well known, assume a genetic diversity.
“For example, the old bacteria have mutations that give them resistance to the antibiotic. This is going to be the order of the day, ”he said.
On this matter, José Poças defended: “If new molecules do not appear, if we do not shiver on the misuse of antibiotics, in 2050 more people will die from such infections, very old, and known to us for many years. (…), E more people will die of infections acquired in hospital than from cancer ”.
“As this is for 2050, people generally won't want to hear about it. But they should want to know. From the sick to the doctors themselves, ”he said.
The specialist also considered that society “cannot be closed forever” and that the ideal would be, once the number of new cases has been reduced, “to keep the number of cases low enough for the economy to open and for give yourself time for vaccines to work ”.