Argentina's Health Ministry Sunday reported 43,487 new cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days, a 27.94% increase over the previous report, in addition to 49 deaths due to the pandemic in the same period. The number of weekly cases has grown by more than 284% in one month.
Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in intensive care units rose to 323, compared to 300 last week.
Jurisdictions reporting coronavirus deaths last week were: Buenos Aires (33 and 60,136 accumulated), CABA (7 and 12,611), Córdoba (3 and 7,855), La Pampa (2 and 1,160), Mendoza (1 and 4,965), Neuquén (1 and 2,571), San Juan (1 and 1,237) and Santa Cruz (1 and 1,094).
Buenos Aires Province Health Minister Nicolás Kreplak has warned of a very large wave of cases of coronavirus and forecasted that the risk situation will last a few months.
Kreplak made those remarks after Buenos Aires Governor Axel Kicillof announced vaccination was available for free in his jurisdiction for all adults over 18 years of age.
It is a key moment, we must take care of ourselves a little more because there is an important wave of cases. We must use the chinstrap again in closed places, we must ventilate. Winter is beginning and the risk situation will last a few months, said Kreplak.
We have had free vaccination for the last three weeks for people over 50 years old, which is the most at-risk population. Ninety percent of the deceased are over 50 years of age, he added.
Those who have already passed the four months are in that group and now we are moving on to those over 18 years of age, he went on.
There is still a significant percentage of people between 30 and 40 years of age who have not yet received the third dose, he also pointed out.
Around 95% of the population of the Province of Buenos Aires has received at least one dose.
Meanwhile, health experts in Chile also reported a new increase in CXOVID-19 infections from the highly contagious Omicron 2 variant, which led last Friday to a peak of 6198 daily cases, the highest figure in 54 days, which has tripled data from May 1, when 2117 infections were registered.
The national secretary of the Medical Association, José Miguel Bernucci told El Mercurio that the increase in cases was something to be expected due to the lower ventilation at a time when temperatures are dropping.
What is not clear, he added, is what the ceiling will be because, he said, with Omicron 2 we are still in the acceleration phase, although he also admitted he was somehow optimistic that this wave could be more limited than previous ones, mainly due to vaccination.
Gabriel Cavada, a specialist at the University of Chile, said he believed the current scenario would replicate that of 2020 when a little over 9,000 daily infections were reported. The maximum number of cases that year occurred in the first or second week of June and now we are heading that way. And in terms of the magnitude of the wave, it is very similar. But we are talking about contagions because, fortunately, the death figures are much more benign, he added.
Infectiologist Jeannette Dabanch, a member of the Advisory Council on Vaccines and Immunization, estimated that in recent months the impression has been given that Omicron does not kill and this is a mistake, it continues to kill people and it is also highly transmissible. She added that if we do not manage to introduce in people the concept of taking care of themselves, especially in winter, we will see an increase in the duplication of cases every two or three days because that is what this variant has shown in other parts of the world.