Laura Delcado, armed with a vaccinated passport – and 60,000 people in Puerto Rico – attended a Bad Bunny concert three weeks ago.
Three days later, he contracted Govt-19, one of about 2,000 people who fell ill as a result of a two-day event.
“We did well; We followed the rules, ”said Ms. Delcado, a 53-year-old interior designer. “We followed the mask order. Because our vaccination rate was so high, we reduced our security. The second Christmas came, ‘We’re going to dinner!’
The Super Spreader concert helped spark an outbreak of Govt-19 cases in Puerto Rico, celebrating one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the United States until then. The concert is one of business events, corporate holiday parties and family gatherings, which has seen a 4,600 per cent increase in cases on the island, with public health officials worried that it could last into the New Year; The Puerto Rican holiday season lasts until January 6, Three Kings Day.
This is particularly worrying in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, where the Omigran variant has plagued the entire country, particularly in the wake of government bankruptcy, the expulsion of health professionals and a weakened health care system. Authorities imposed strict restrictions on the new wave Passengers Eaters in the hope of preventing new wave cases.
Rafael Irisari, Harvard University statistician, a Dashboard Puerto Rico Govt-19 data, Has tweeted that Shocking facts: One-third of all corona virus cases reported on the island since the outbreak last month. The number of cases per 100,000 residents has risen to 225 in three weeks.
In December, the number of hospital admissions doubled – more than doubled.
Without the polar politics that has affected the debate about vaccines in other parts of the country, nearly 85 percent of those in Puerto Rico have received at least one vaccine, and 75 percent have received both vaccines.
But in the face of a highly contagious new variant, a higher vaccination rate no longer makes sense, Mr. Irizarry said. Most people in Puerto Rico have passed the six-month limit, and beyond that the effectiveness of the vaccine begins to decline, although health officials say at least 40 percent have not yet received booster shots.
At one point this week, the number of daily cases surpassed 11,000, the highest number on an island with a population of just 3.2 million. Rapid increases have begun to decline, but case numbers are still rising, Mr. Irisari said.
“When I first noticed something was happening on December 13, I alerted the health department,” he said. “On the 14th and 15th, it was clear. Call the person running the database and ask, ‘Is there something wrong with the database?’
According to the island’s health department, 317 people are currently hospitalized with Covit-19, a quarter of whom are children. Half of the number of people infected with the disease and hospitalized at this time last year, before many were vaccinated. But this is still a challenge for hospitals.
“The problem is, let’s assume that Omigron is half as bad,” Mr. Irisari said. “If you have eight times as many cases, the math will not work in your favor.”
Gov. Pedro R. Pierluisi has ordered the reduction of capacity limits in restaurants. To attend major public events, people must now be vaccinated and given a negative Govt-19 test. Passengers arriving on domestic flights must show a negative test taken within 48 hours of arrival, regardless of vaccine status. Similar rules already apply to international flights.
Mass public events, including the main celebration of the 500th anniversary of the island’s capital, San Juan, have been canceled. “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rocking Eve,” ABC planned to broadcast live from Puerto Rico in front of a large crowd, was downgraded to a virtual event.
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The finals of the pageant in Puerto Rico were canceled after a few dozen world beauty pageants fell ill.
On Thursday, the Scientific Alliance, a group of scientists and health experts who advised the governor, recommended drastic measures such as limits on liquor sales and short-term restrictions on bars and other establishments. On Friday, the governor, following a recommendation, ordered businesses to close from midnight on Jan. 4 through Jan. 18 until 5 p.m. He also forced booster shots at restaurant staff and public security personnel.
“This is news that is hard to digest when the case numbers here are the lowest in the world two weeks ago,” said Daniel Colon-Ramos, a Yale University professor who heads the coalition.
He said these activities are very difficult in Puerto Rico, where it is difficult to overstate the importance of the holiday season, which begins with Thanksgiving and lasts until January 6. “July 4th and Super Bowl,” he described.
“Christmas is a week in which Puerto Ricans celebrate their identity,” he said. “They are celebrating their family. They celebrate their faith. They celebrate their heritage.
Health officials said the average age of victims on the island was 33. But experts are concerned that the number of infected older people will definitely rise if young people who become infected while attending parties and other events meet adults on New Year’s and Three Kings Day. As many of its young professionals move to Florida, Texas and other states in recent years, Puerto Rico has a high proportion of the elderly, many of whom suffer from diabetes, obesity and other diseases, which puts them at higher risk for corona virus complications. .
“We have a health system – it’s not a secret – it’s fragile,” said Carlos R., the island’s health secretary. Mellato Lopez said. He urged people not to overwhelm test centers unnecessarily, and stressed that Puerto Rico has the necessary tools, such as monoclonal antibody treatments, to combat the crisis.
But experts warn that thousands of medical professionals have left Puerto Rico in recent years in search of higher pay, which could complicate the island’s ability to treat large numbers of sick people. The number of doctors on the island has dropped to 5,000 since 2006, and another evacuation of primary care physicians is expected as they are exempt from the latest tax breaks designed to prevent specialists from leaving, said Porto’s President Victor M. Ramos Otero said. Ricoh Physicians Association.
“The problem we have is not the beds,” he said. Ramos said. “The main issue is the staff.”
Jose R., an epidemiologist who helped design the corona virus defenses for Puerto Rican basketball teams. Lopez de Victoria said the crisis was still moving forward.
“What we see on test sites is that it’s not over,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. The case rate is expected to rise.