World Cup, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are favorable scenarios for the rise of Covid, says Health Secretary of SP


While the majority was watching TV, cheering for the debut of the Brazilian team in the World Cup in Qatar, the state secretary of Health of São Paulo, Jean Gorinchteyn, read on Thursday afternoon (24) “The Secret of the Mind Millionaire”, by Canadian author T. Harv Eker, which deals with the habits of successful people. “It was my son who brought it. He told me to read the book so it would be my Bible.”

Hours earlier, on the same Thursday, the government of which Gorinchteyn is a part announced the return of the mandatory use of a mask in public transport in the city of São Paulo, starting this Saturday (26) — it was recommended that all municipalities in São Paulo do the same .

The reason for the resumption of masks on buses is the increase in the number of hospitalizations of people with Covid-19. A situation that, according to him, could be different if everyone had taken all available doses of vaccine against the new coronavirus.

The rise in cases, he believes, may continue because of the parties amended until the end of the year, with the expectation of agglomerations in the World Cup — the Anhangabaú valley, in the center of São Paulo, brought together thousands of people without masks to see Brazil defeat Serbia 2-0—, on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

“We have scenarios that favor the perpetuation of the virus and creating mandatory in other spaces will not be something accepted by the population, it will cause more wear”, he says, about the return of masks in other environments, such as in commerce. “Therefore, it is fundamental for people to be aware individually. They are the ones who will protect themselves, their families and those in their work environments. Many people have lost the feeling of risk, they think they are already protected.”

The 54-year-old infectologist, who is preparing to leave office on December 31, with the defeat of Rodrigo Garcia (PSDB) in the October elections, says that he has contributed as a volunteer with suggestions for health to the transitional government of the president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and who maintained contact with elected vice-governor Geraldo Alckmin. But he rules out settling a job in Brasilia.

As mr. Do you see the decision to return the mask to public transport in São Paulo? It was an important decision. Look, in the last 15 days we had an occupancy of 100% in intensive care units and 120% in wards for patients with Covid-19 in the state network. Today there are two subvariants in circulation [da ômicron], BQ.1 and BA.5, which have a much higher transmission capacity. If I have the circulation of a virus and people who are not properly vaccinated and develop symptoms, they can cause hospital admissions, which fortunately today are much lower than at the beginning of this year and in the second wave [março e abril de 2021]🇧🇷

We understand that not the entire population is vaccinated. We have ten million people, including children, who should have had their second shot by now, but didn’t. There are also seven million who could have received the third. And, unfortunately, there are only 38% [do público-alvo] with the fourth dose. In childhood vaccination, 50% of children are properly immunized.

Were there any campaigns to encourage vaccination? Even on ‘D’ or ‘V’ days, when there were campaigns, we never had a demand for vaccines. It is necessary that the population understands the need to update the vaccine chart, but this will not be done with campaigns, but with frequent awareness, which must be done mainly by the municipalities, which need to create operational strategies to bring these people to be properly immunized and protected.

In the city of São Paulo, the mask was removed from public transport last September and returned just over two months later. Mr. Do you think the previous decision was premature? In no way. We always have to look at the scenario and it is what will define our strategic positions. At that moment, without variants and with a still very poor commitment to the health system, the decision was made. And we never shy away from saying that we could backtrack on our measures.

Does this back-and-forth of measures still go far? Today we have the need to immunize the population adequately [para evitar apertos em medidas sanitárias]🇧🇷 This awareness is essential to avoid this. We already have the mention of Anvisa [Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária] authorization for Pfizer’s bivalent vaccines. It is something that already envisages vaccination scenarios for next year, as well as the flu and other respiratory diseases, applied annually.

Mr. Do you think that the sequence of parties, with the World Cup, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, can keep the number of cases high? It’s a possibility. We have scenarios that favor the perpetuation of the virus and creating an obligation in other spaces will not be something accepted by the population, it will cause more wear and tear. They are the ones who will protect themselves, their families and those in their work environments. Many people have lost the feeling of risk, they think they are already protected.

And what’s the recommendation? With these agglomerations that will happen, we ask you to be concerned about the use of masks in environments where it is not possible to distance or that do not have adequate ventilation. This will happen both in public transport and in scenarios such as those of fans in the Anhangabaú valley. Remove the mask to drink your beer, eat your snack, and return with it. This decreases the risk of acquiring new strains. And if you are not properly protected, avoid these agglomerations.

With the end of the government on December 31, are you going back to practicing medicine only? I never left medicine, it was an agreement I made with João [Doria, ex-governador]🇧🇷 I accepted the invitation as long as I could see my patients in the hospital and continue to have my practice. Of course, the number of days has greatly decreased, from four days I attended the office, today I went back to two, but on the most chaotic days it was only one. However, I had the need to continue serving. In moments of chaos, especially in the second wave, I needed to go to the Einstein, between one meeting and another at the Palácio dos Bandeirantes, and cool down, calmed down. I saw what was happening there and secondarily it would happen on the public network.

The future of mr. are you in Brasilia? Not. Some invitations have already been made to me, both in medicine and in political life, and I need to think about the best strategies. Maybe things tend to solidify next month. Alckmin called [depois da eleição] and asked what I was going to do, but I have no intention of leaving São Paulo, because I would lose two important things, contact with medicine and my family.

But I have helped [o governo de transição do presidente eleito Lula] in an unofficial way with some questions on important topics, such as the legalization of medicines or improving basic health care in general. I passed some proposals to interlocutors to help.

The Council of Municipal Health Secretaries of the State of São Paulo recently pointed out that São Paulo health units lost 2,200 doctors. How can the federal government solve the problem?One of the proposals I made to this transition group is to oblige physicians trained in public schools to work for one year in family health programs as a way of obtaining residency points. They have a duty to give back to society. Then the idea would pass to graduates in private universities.

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