This week in the country there is an increase in infections by Covid-19 that exceeds 44,000 cases. This added to the crises in the AICM where in the last six days, more than 300 flights were canceled due to the proliferation of coronavirus infections that occurred among pilots and workers of different airlines and where hundreds of travelers were stranded waiting for rescheduling of his flights, it is an epic image. Even these days, passengers are asked to arrive at least five to six hours before their flights to avoid setbacks. In addition to this, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador tested positive for coronavirus, this after having presented obvious symptoms on Monday in his morning. Thus, since last Friday, the president -who is the second time that he has been infected-, maintained contact with at least a dozen officials, before reporting that his test had been positive despite having had symptoms.
And it is that yes, it is a fact that this new variant is extremely contagious, and at the same time, for those who have received their complete vaccination schedules, not so harmful, but it should not be trusted either, since as the experts refer, it is necessary to know more about its effects. What is a fact is that the increase in the number of infections is important, and in turn, the care that each citizen decides to maintain to avoid them is crucial to contain the spread of the virus. Since the weekend, due to the increase in cases, the Health authorities, together with the business sector in Mexico City, agreed that to avoid large lines at Covid test centers -and possibly facing the shortage of them-, It would be better not to do tests, and to avoid that in the work centers employees are asked to present a proof that shows that they tested positive for the disease, therefore, it would be best to assume that in the face of any symptom, however minimal, Ideally, isolate yourself and wait to see if the symptoms remain, worsen, or disappear. Thus, as a preventive measure, now it is best to assume that I may have covid, but not to have a test, and to follow an isolation protocol. Yes, believe it or not, this is part of the public policy strategy.
What is clear is that to this day the increases in infections are evident and growing significantly. On the other hand, it is true that the levels of deaths are not compared to those of last year, but this does not imply that omicron can or should be treated as a “little covid”, as the president referred this week. It is crucial to bear in mind that vaccination schedules are vital for the effects to be minor, but in no way should it be dismissed that the pandemic continues.
Now, what will happen to the monitoring of infections by Covid-19? On the one hand, the measure of urging not to do tests for possible infections, is an emerging solution, but in the medium term, the measurement resources to know how we are doing, could be affected for the following decision-making in matters of health, economy and education.
Whether we like it or not, measuring with an instrument is central to knowing where we are standing and knowing where to go. Indeed, one of the recommendations of the WHO and that since 2020 has been a constant of success in countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, New Zealand or South Korea is based on establishing detection policies -tests-, clear public communication and efficient social policies to prevent the spread of contagion, thus the social, political, health and economic sectors coexist and prosper in the same synergy.
Dismissing the severity of the Omicron variant could perhaps be a counterproductive message to trust ourselves and think that since the number of deaths does not increase, and the clinical pictures for now are not serious, promote that health measures are relaxed. Thus, the importance of applying tests and having access to them is necessary, both to give citizens certainty about their state of health and the environment where they are, and on the other hand, to carry out a follow-up and clear diagnosis and to be able to take decisions that allow planning and drawing solid routes of action, since without this, it would be like going blind and at a certain moment falling into improvisations that do not do good to the institutions, the economy and much less to society.