Daily Archives: Apr 30, 2020

San José. Las autoridades de Costa Rica anunciaron este jueves que se ha logrado secuenciar el genoma del coronavirus SARS CoV 2, que causa el Covid-19, lo que favorecerá el estudio de su comportamiento en el país y brindará información útil para posibles tratamientos y vacunas.

El trabajo estuvo a cargo del estatal Instituto Costarricense de Investigación y Enseñanza en Nutrición y Salud (Inciensa), que por primera vez en la historia del país consigue secuenciar el genoma de un virus humano, explicó en una videoconferencia de prensa la directora del instituto, Lissette Navas.

Por su parte, el coordinador del Laboratorio de Genoma del Inciensa, Francisco Duarte, dijo que “esto nos da ventajas en cuanto a salud pública” y que “conocer la secuencia ayuda a saber si el virus presenta mutaciones o cambios en el tiempo”.

Esta información también puede ser útil para desarrollar vacunas contra el virus, para conocer la dinámica y la diversidad de la población viral, las rutas de transmisión en el país, y para robustecer las capacidades de análisis para la red nacional de laboratorios. Otras ventajas son que se puede mejorar la calidad de los diagnósticos en el país y realizar la vigilancia genómica viral sin depender del envío de muestras a otros países.

El procedimiento se realizó a partir de seis muestras de pacientes diagnosticados como positivos. Dos de los genomas obtenidos se acercan a los genomas obtenidos de muestras analizadas en Estados Unidos y los otros cuatro se ubican dentro de los conglomerados constituidos por cepas de virus encontradas en diferentes partes del mundo, indicó el Inciensa.

Los resultados fueron sometidos a la plataforma Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (Gisad), que es utilizada de manera global, para compartir este tipo de información, por lo que está disponible para la comunidad científica mundial.

Este es uno de los trabajos a nivel científico que está desarrollando Costa Rica para hacer frente a la pandemia del Covid-19. Otros trabajos son el del Instituto Clodormiro Picado de la estatal Universidad de Costa Rica, que busca crear un suero a base de plasma de pacientes recuperados para el tratamiento de pacientes graves; así como una investigación que desarrolla el Centro Nacional de Innovaciones Biotecnológicas (CENIBIOT) con el fin de elaborar pruebas propias para la detección del virus.

Los datos oficiales del Ministerio de Salud indican que en Costa Rica, desde la aparición del primer caso en el país el pasado 6 de marzo, se han confirmado 719 casos positivos, de los cuales 6 han fallecido y 338 ya han sido declarados como recuperados.

En la actualidad hay 16 personas hospitalizadas, de las cuales 9 están en unidades de cuidados intensivos.

Costa Rica no ha ordenado una cuarentena generalizada, pero sí ha cerrado parcial o totalmente diversas actividades económicas. Desde mediados de marzo Costa Rica cerró sus fronteras al ingreso de extranjeros, suspendió el curso lectivo y eventos masivos, y además mantiene cerradas las playas, los parques, los parques nacionales, los bares, las discotecas y los casinos. Está vigente una restricción para la circulación de vehículos por franjas horarias y por número de placa.

Los restaurantes, tiendas y otros negocios pequeños pueden operar a un 50% de su aforo y con estrictas medidas de salud, mientras que los supermercados y las farmacias están abiertos pero con reglas higiénicas y para evitar la aglomeración.

La curva de casos activos viene en descenso, por lo que el Gobierno ha comenzado a permitir, con limitaciones, algunas actividades que estaban prohibidas como los gimnasios, centros de entrenamiento deportivo y los salones de belleza.

Beaches among the first in the visitor economy to reopen

The most recent research briefing by Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s destination marketing organization (DMO) reports that during the week of March 1 to April 11, hotel occupancy rates on the island plummeted from 77 percent to 5 percent.

In comparison, during the same period, hotel occupancy rates in the U.S. mainland dropped from 62 percent to 22 percent.

The data shows that the coronavirus crisis has hit the Puerto Rico tourism industry harder than its U.S. counterpart. The island’s general lockdown is much stricter than those in the U.S. mainland. For example, an employee at Vacasa, an international property-management company based in Portland, Ore.,  indicted that the company was accepting existing reservations for the West Coast in mid-April, although thousands of short-term rentals had been canceled. Residents of the City of Roses can walk around freely and parks are open.

Meanwhile, family members told your correspondent that they could go for a run on the streets of New York City and drive from Minneapolis, Minn. to nearby towns to buy comfort-food pies “to go.”

Still, Adam Sacks, the president of Tourism Economics, noted that the coronavirus epidemic is hitting the U.S. economy hard. To date, nearly 30 million people have lost their jobs in the last three months (layoffs and furloughs). Hourly workers stateside have also seen their hours cut by an average 60 percent.

Tourism Economics is expecting a “U” shaped recovery that will take 12-18 months. Specifically, Sacks predicted that $400 billion in travel spending, both domestically and internationally, will be lost in 2020.

In terms of travel spending losses, Puerto Rico is among the worst markets in the U.S., comparing percentage changes year-over-year; the island is next to last before Rhode Island.

The worst markets that have seen travel spending plummet by more than 80 percent, year-over-year are: Arizona, California, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island.

This indicates that the Enchanted Island has a bigger hole to climb out of.

Beaches reopening with social distancing

As reported, while Puerto Rico is still grappling with easing its strict lockdown and curfew restrictions, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) has reopened its beaches.

The USVI, a sister U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, is also a major tourism destination.

On April 20, USVI Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. announced that their beaches have reopened, as have the beaches under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, with the exception of Cramer’s Park on St. Croix’s East End, which was vandalized and may reopen soon.

“We are allowing beach restaurants to reopen, but we are restricting the sale of alcohol,” Bryan said. “I want to remind the public that the requirements for social distancing and avoiding mass gatherings are still in effect and will be fully enforced. That means absolutely no congregations of more than 10 individuals.”

He warned that if the public did not adhere to the new regulations, the beaches would be closed again. “I want to be absolutely clear, no picnics, no parties, no DJs, no get-togethers, no camping, no kick-backs, no bonfires,” Bryan said.

In the U.S. mainland, California, Florida and Texas have reopened in some areas with social distancing rules in place. In these communities, beaches are open for a few hours a day, while some are “barring lounging on chairs and towels with coolers,” to prevent social gatherings, according to The Associated Press. In Florida, for example, beaches are limited to gatherings of no more than 10 people and spaced at least six feet apart.

 

As of Wednesday evening, Erie County has 3,315 positive cases of coronavirus

Are Coronavirus numbers in Erie County heading in the wrong direction?

At this time 254 Erie County residents have died from coronavirus.

The County set a new high in coronavirus-related hospitalizations on Monday with 258. County Executive Mark Poloncarz said “We should all be discouraged” that the numbers are headed in the wrong direction.

Do we have enough recent local numbers to say for sure we’re trending in the wrong direction?

“Typically you’d like to say there needs to be at least three points on a curve (to determine a trend),” said Dr. Bruce Troen from the Jacobs School of Medicine. “Right now, unfortunately, we are not heading in the right direction in Erie County.”

Poloncarz said hospital admissions exceeded discharges for the last three days of data.

“It does reflect that we have a persistent focus of infection,” Troen said. “I can’t say that any time soon that’s going to abate.”

So how do we move from this point to beginning to reopen Western New York? Troen said hospitalizations are only part of the answer.

“What we desperately need is more widespread testing on a trial basis so that we can understand with random testing who are the folks that are actually being affected,” Troen said. “Only then can we be able to make better decisions about how we can eventually start opening the community up.”

Troen said it will take a combination of both Coronavirus tests and antibody tests to get a clear picture of the population, but it will take time before we can say with certainty that those with antibodies have a decreased infection rate.

 

 

STAY CONNECTED

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com