Uruguayan COVID-19 expert Rafael Radi, a former coordinator of the Honorary Scientific Advisory Group (GACH), has said in an interview that eliminating the second PCR test for those arriving into his country was a “somewhat bold” measure he would have not recommended.
Radi also pointed out the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 was going to spread rapidly because in part it eludes the response to vaccines of those who were vaccinated with two doses.
He explained that, with Omicron, many people who enter the country with a negative PCR, after two or three days become positive, which can complicate the epidemiological situation.
Radi also warned there is an ongoing rise in cases due to the increase in human interactions and the predominance of the Delta variant, which is going to change when Omicron reaches Uruguay, which is imminent.
It can be days, weeks, but not much more than a month, Radi said, noting that there is already community transmission in São Paulo. The new strain is going to spread rapidly because in part it eludes the vaccine response of those who were vaccinated with two doses against COVID-19 and, therefore, the third dose becomes an absolutely critical element. Radi also forecast Omicron would be harsher on the unvaccinated.
But, he added, one would hope that at some point, with three doses, quarantines should not be so strict.
Meanwhile, Uruguay's Health Minister Daniel Salinas replied to a highly reasonable Twitter question: If Santa Claus is required to go through swabs and quarantines at every country, he will not be able to deliver all his Christmas gifts in time. Salinas suggested Santa should see the new regulations and stay and live in Uruguay.
Salinas was referring to changes announced this, whereby, in addition to suppressing the second PCR test, mandatory isolation will no longer be required for asymptomatic people who have been in contact with a positive case of COVID-19.
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