Scientists from National Institute of Health (INS) of Peru identified a new “sublineage” of the gamma variant of the virus that causes the COVID-19, which is composed mostly of “Peruvian genomes”, reported this Friday the Ministry of Health (Minsa).
The INS genomic surveillance team detected the “Underlines P.1.12 ″ de this variant, also known as Brazilian, and indicated that it will monitor its behavior “Given the possibility of a third wave of covid-19 in the country.”
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The Peruvian molecular biologists estimated the date of emergence of this “underlines”Around February 26 of this year and after sending it earlier this month to the PANGO committee, which designates the nomenclature of“ clades ”(specific groups), it was accepted this Thursday and named as P.1.12.
The Minsa indicated that it is present in 18 regions of the country, in greater quantity in Lima and the Amazon Loreto, and joins the group of circulating gamma “sub-lineages” in Peru.
The ministry stressed that the molecular biologists of the INS “They work tirelessly to track down the circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants” in the country.
Evaluate booster doses
On the other hand, the Minister of Health, Hernando Cevallos, reported that the health authorities are evaluating the possibility of ordering a booster dose of coronavirus vaccines to be applied to front-line personnel in the fight against the epidemic and to vulnerable people. in the country.
The minister recalled that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized this Wednesday a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for those over 65 years of age and for adults at risk of health or especially exposed to the covid-19.
“This is being evaluated in our country”, declared to Channel N of television before remarking that in Peru “there are not enough vaccines”, since despite the fact that it has been acquired “a good amount” they have the “obligation to continue taking care of them”.
“But we also have to take care of the most vulnerable. So it is being evaluated and a decision will be made in the next few days for sure ”, Held.
The minister also stressed that the national vaccination campaign against covid-19 has already made it possible to achieve “53% of the population with the first dose applied, (already) more than 35% with the second dose.”
“There cannot be a person over 50 years of age who is not vaccinated with two doses in the country”, he emphasized before saying that this “is a goal” of immunization.
Cevallos added that “we must continue to lower the age” of vaccination, which is currently applied from 23 years of age, but “we must take care” of the 50-year-old group “which is the one who gets sick and the one who can die”.
The Peruvian health authorities reported that until this Friday they have applied 24.8 million doses of the vaccines of Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm that are used in the country and that 9.79 million people already have both doses.
Although Peru reports more than 199,000 deaths and 2.16 million cases since the beginning of the pandemic, the impact of the disease has decreased markedly in recent weeks and currently reaches percentages similar to the lowest in the first wave.
Despite this, the Ministry of Health reported that in the last 24 hours, 492 cases were detected and there were 12 deaths, while another 3,731 people remain hospitalized, 1,033 of them in intensive care units.