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Covid-19: Bolivia’s largest region enters red health alert to address 4th wave

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Santa Cruz Secretary of Health and Human Development Fernando Pacheco told the media that declaring a red health alert in the department was decided to “enable administrative and logistical measures” to address the 4th wave of Covid-19.

Pacheco argued that intensive care units are becoming full and that there has also been an increase in the number of daily infections, leading authorities to assess that the region will enter a “health emergency” situation in the coming days.

The Government of eastern Santa Cruz declared a red health alert due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in a 4th wave of infections. (photo internet reproduction)

“It is advisable that we should implement our health emergency measures, that we activate our Departmental Emergency Operations Center (COED) to prevent this from escalating,” Pacheco told the media.

“We urge the population to remain calm, to take care of themselves, to maintain bio-safety measures and we as Governor’s Office will be there to protect their health,” Pacheco said.

This week the country’s main prisons banned visits, including Palmasola prison in Santa Cruz, due to Covid-19 infections, while 19 positive cases were also detected in the indigenous march that reached the city months ago.

The country has been recording an increase in Covid-19 cases for 8 consecutive weeks, marking this 4th wave of infections, as national authorities reported.

As a result, the municipal authorities of Santa Cruz announced a number of measures and restrictions to tackle the increase in infections, such as the ban of events gathering over 50 people, in particular, high school graduation parties to be held next month.

In addition, a vaccine certificate will be required to enter commercial establishments.

This week, Minister of Health Jeyson Auza blamed the increase of cases in the department on the strike that took place in the region rejecting a law. This week there is a massive march of several social movements headed by ex-president Evo Morales in support of the government of Luis Arce that intends to reach La Paz on Monday.

Currently, Bolivia accumulates 19,104 deaths and 532,631 infections since the first cases were detected in March last year.

With respect to vaccination, the Ministry reported that so far 3,996,668 people have been administered the first dose, another 3,107,998 have received the second dose and 980,198 have been immunized with single-dose vaccines.

The vaccines being used are the Chinese Sinopharm and Russian Sputnik V purchased by the government, in addition to the AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Janssen vaccines donated through the United Nations Covax mechanism.

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