a Afghanistan He has been at war since the end of last year, when the Taliban militant group recaptured the country. Then Brazil began offering a humanitarian visa to take in refugees, directing those without the resources to reception centres. But over time, there were not enough vacancies in these places, and Afghans began to flock to the airport, especially since August.
The two refugees diagnosed with COVID-19, a 64-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man, had no symptoms and were only referred by volunteers to a health center with suspected other health problems. One had complications due to diabetes and the other had suspected kidney infection.
Activists who have been working at the airport for a few months, on Sunday, carried out a sanitary measure at the airport. About two dozen volunteer health professionals, including doctors and nurses, provided care on site. Of the three refugees sent to UPA, two refugees tested positive even without showing flu symptoms.
The activist said Estadao Swany Zenobini, one of the volunteers working at the airport through the Frente Afgã collective: “We were in a panic.” The results came in late Sunday afternoon. “If out of three people who were tested, even without a complaint, because they were asymptomatic, two were positive, imagine how many people must have had the virus at that airport.”
Suane reports that the group also notified the Guarulhos City Council on Sunday, which maintains a service station at the airport. The municipal administration provided for the isolation of patients in the health center. Now, the Afghan front’s collective goal, the volunteer continued, is to test other refugees before sending them to shelters.
The municipality reported, in a note, that it “follows the guidelines of the government of São Paulo, which, according to a technical note, directs testing only for people who show symptoms.” “The Minister of Health of Guarulhos carried out weekly health procedures at the airport, such as vaccinations and medical consultations, in addition to general health-related guidelines,” he explained.
And the municipal administration stated that it had already opened two shelters in the city: one in August, with 27 vacancies, and the other in October, with 20 more places. To use this space to welcome those who tested positive yesterday,” he said. The file repeated the delivery of breakfast, lunch and dinner meals to those waiting for reception at the airport.
As the site showed Estadao In October some of the refugees are sent to reception centres, but the group camped at the airport, whose composition changes all the time, has grown especially since August. According to volunteers, the number increased with the increase in flights due to the World Cup and approached 300 last week. Now, according to the city of Guarulhos, there are about 80.
What does Anvisa and the government of São Paulo say
In a note, Anfisa stated that the situation of Afghan refugees staying in camps at Guarulhos airport has been known to the agency that has been monitoring the situation since the first groups began waiting to be referred to destination sites.
“By observing the growth of the group and the duration of stay, Anfisa officially informed, on October 11, the Ministry of Health, about the health risks of such a situation;
Anvisa stated that it carries out epidemiological surveillance activities under the technical and normative guidance of the Ministry of Health. According to the agency, the ministry referred to the work of the Department of Waterborne and Foodborne Diseases of the Center for Epidemiological Surveillance (CVE) of the Sao Paulo State Ministry of Health, as the body that will provide vaccines and collect samples. Suspected cases and their support in mitigating the risk of transmission of infectious diseases.
Following the positive cases identified on Sunday, Anvisa then reached out to CVE/SP and reinforced the reference to the use of masks, making them available to the entire refugee group. He pointed out that “in the event that symptoms appear on the new refugees, the examination in the health units in the municipality and isolation in a place outside the airport is indicated.”
The State Department of Health (SES) confirmed that it had received notification, by Anvisa, of the two cases to the Center for Epidemiological Surveillance (CVE). “The two patients are in isolation in a municipal unit and are being monitored by the state and municipality,” the state government said. To date, no other cases have been identified.
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