The Brazilian city of Manaus closed restaurants and river beaches to contain a new surge in Coronavirus infections, a trend that may dispel theories that the city, the largest city in the Amazon region, was one of the first places to achieve herd immunity, or what is known as “herd immunity” worldwide. .
And when a large part of society acquires immunity to a disease, its spread is unlikely.
Researchers from the University of Sao Paulo said that a sharp decrease in deaths from “Covid-19” in Manaus indicated the presence of group immunity, but they also believe that the antibodies to the disease after infection may not last for more than a few months, according to “Reuters”.
On Friday, local authorities imposed a ban on parties and other gatherings for a period of 30 days, and reduced working hours in restaurants and shopping places, in a setback for the city of 1.8 million people after it appeared to have passed the worst phase of the pandemic.
In April and May, many Manaus residents were dying of “Covid-19” to the point that its hospitals collapsed and its cemeteries could not keep up with the number of deaths.
The city never imposed full isolation measures, and unnecessary commercial activity was halted, but many ignored social distancing guidelines.
However, the number of deaths decreased unexpectedly in June, and public health experts at the time questioned whether so large a population had actually been infected with the virus that there were no more new people infected.
Research published last week by the MedreXiv website estimated that between 44 and 66% of Manaus’ residents were infected during the peak outbreak period in mid-May and August.
The study, conducted by the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of São Paulo, sought to monitor antibodies to corona in preserved samples of blood donations taken from a recent period and followed a mathematical model to estimate infection levels.
The high rates of infection showed that herd immunity led to a sharp decrease in the number of infections and deaths, according to the study, but the numbers are rising again.
Esther Sabino, the study’s senior researcher, refused to be interviewed about the matter because the Manaus herd immunity study is awaiting peer review before publication.
The authorities warned the residents of Manaus that they were ignoring the methods of preventing the virus and risked allowing a second wave of the outbreak because they did not put on masks and crowded them in restaurants and places of celebration, and the authorities closed the beach of the Manaus River, where large concerts were held.
Manaus Mayor Arthur Virgilio blamed right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who played down the severity of the epidemic by encouraging him to return to normal life and business rather than waiting for a vaccine to be developed.
Epidemiologist André Patricio Almeida said that cases are often rising again among those who are younger and more money-rich, who go to bars and show mild symptoms, but often infect older relatives who need treatment in hospital.
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