Uruguay detected 284 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, reaching the record number of 1825 active cases, a few days after the barrier of a thousand cases was overcome and the government of Luis Lacalle Pou announced restrictive mobility measures last Monday.
The figure, reported by the National Emergency System (SINAE) in its last report, is starting to worry specialists especially in Montevideo, where 208 were detected in the last 24 hours. With these figures, the Uruguayan capital entered the orange zone in the University of Harvard scale, which implies an accelerated phase of coronavirus infections with an average of 10.45 cases per 100 thousand.
The Harvard scale identifies risk levels with the colours green, yellow, orange and red. When a department exceeds the average of 10 new cases per day per 100,000 inhabitants for seven days, it moves into the orange risk zone. If the rate of new cases is 25 or more, the zone goes red, which is the most extreme category.
The country, which has managed to contain the uncontrolled advance of the pandemic since the virus began to circulate in the region, performing a high number of tests since the beginning of the pandemic and maintaining strict epidemiological monitoring of positive cases and their contacts, is experiencing an exponential increase of cases in recent weeks, compromising the summer season. There have been 80 deaths from covid-19 in the country since March.
The authorities, despite announcing that the borders would remain closed to foreign tourists until after the summer, bet in the last month on domestic tourism, trying to save the battered economic sector.
Faced with the risk of the pandemic getting out of control, Lacalle Pou announced last Monday during a press conference with his Honorary Scientific Advisory Group (GACH) a battery of measures aimed at restricting the population's mobility for almost three weeks.
The government decided to implement teleworking in all public offices, cancel activities in all gyms, indoor sports, restrict the hours of bars and restaurants until midnight and demand strict compliance with health protocols. However, during the days following this announcement, there has not been a significant decrease in mobility according to ticket sales in Montevideo's public transport, El Observador reported.
Lacalle Pou asked during the press conference for a greater commitment to continue challenging the statistics, those that say that if the country had behaved as Brazil and Argentina have done, it would have had more than 100,000 infections and 3,000 deaths.
However, this Friday the authorities of the Ministry of Health said that in 20% of the confirmed cases of covid-19 until November 30th, when there were 5,857 cases registered since the beginning of the pandemic, no epidemiological link was identified, which shows an increase in the community circulation of the virus. This represents a 4% increase since the ministry's last report.
Sinae informed in its last epidemiological report that since the sanitary emergency was declared in the country last March 13th, 80 deaths from coronavirus have been reported and 455,859 tests were processed, of which 6731 positive cases were recorded and 4826 have already recovered.