We recognize the essential value and role of the Brazilian public health system in responding to this health crisis. In the places where we work together, we have seen the excellent work of health professionals, but we know that the system is being pushed to its absolute limit. The excessive workload has left many health professionals of all specialties with mental health problems.
“Now is high time to act”
Even in the face of such a difficult situation, we believe that there are ways to reduce the cost of human lives that we are paying during the pandemic.
The health authorities can improve testing practices by adopting PCR tests on a larger scale or, in their absence, rapid antigen tests. These tests detect whether the person has the virus and, with this information, it is possible to efficiently isolate them. Rapid antibody tests, widely used in Brazil, are not suitable in many cases because a person can test positive and no longer have the active virus.
The vaccination program unfortunately had a slow start and we do not know when a considerable part of the population will be immunized. As such, it is essential that we maintain proper hygiene, social distancing, and the use of masks, actions that depend on the engagement of each and every one of us.