Sao Paulo, May 17 (EFE) .- Far from the coronavirus peak and the doors to the southern winter, Brazil is walking towards a perfect storm with the COVID-19 curve on the rise, the beginning of the influenza season, the end of dengue fever and active outbreaks of other viruses he believed to have been overcome, such as measles.
As hospital intensive care units fill up, President Jair Bolsonaro is still engaged in a “political war” against the measures of isolation from regional governments and in favor of a return to normality.
Two ministers of Health have already fallen in that crusade in less than a month: Luiz Henrique Mandetta, staunch defender of quarantines, and Nelson Teich, who He refused to recommend chloroquine for all kinds of coronavirus patients, as the far-right leader wishes.
They were both doctors and now, with the curve in full exponential escalation, the Health portfolio is in the hands of the inte rina, by Eduardo Pazuello, an Army general with no experience in the area.
Until this Saturday, Brazil registered 233,142 confirmed cases of COVID-19, already surpassing Italy and Spain, and 15,633 deaths, reinforcing itself as one of the outbreaks global pandemic.
The peak is expected to be reached in the coming weeks, although the coronavirus will not be the only health emergency that the precarious Brazilian public health system will have to face.
A COMBINATION « EXPLOSIVE »
The expansion of the coronavirus, which arrived in Brazil in February, occurs amid other infectious outbreaks that had already been worrying the health authorities.
The country is now exceeding the peak of dengue, transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is also a carrier of the Zika virus, yellow fever and chikungunya, which is usually in April and May.
According to the latest bulletin from the Ministry of Health, so far this year 676,928 probable cases of dengue have been reported, with an incidence rate of 322 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and 265 deaths.
As of June, with the arrival of the southern winter, cases of dengue Those of common flu and other respiratory diseases are falling, but are rising.
In 2019, Brazil, which has a population of 210 million inhabitants, recorded 1,122 deaths from the three types of influenza, according to official data.
East year, influenza and dengue are added to the COVID-19 and with it the difficulty of differentiating each case, since the three viruses cause similar symptoms in the first days of the disease.
“That combination is quite explosive,” he explains. a Efe the doctor Adriano Massuda, professor of collective health at the private study center Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV).
Mauricio Lacerda, researcher at the Foundation for Amparo to Research of the State of Sao Paulo (FAPESP), trab aja at the Sao José do Rio Preto hospital and assures that “the prospects are very bad” in the face of winter.
“Here in the hospital we already have influenza, COVID-19 and dengue patients, and we had deaths by three. It is a very complicated situation “and that it” overloads “the public network, he affirms to Efe.
To all this we must also add measles outbreaks that are still active in the five regions of Brazil: north, northeast, central-west , Southeast and South.
So far this year, 2,910 measles cases have been reported, almost half of them in the state of Pará, also one of the most affected by the coronavirus, and three deaths.
“Measles is returning to Brazil, it has low immunization coverage and it could be another problem,” says Massuda.
In 2019, there were 18,200 cases of measles and 15 deaths across the country, 14 of which in Sao Paulo, today the Brazilian epicenter of COVID-19.
DENOUNCED LACK OF INVESTMENT IN THE AREA OF HEALTH
The challenge for the Unified Health System (SUS), which encompasses the entire network of public hospitals and on which 75% of Brazilians depend, it will be enormous me and even more with the chronic financing problem that it suffers.
For Massuda, the fiscal austerity policy, which began with the Michel Temer government (2016-2018) and continued with Bolsonaro, has aggravated that situation.  According to reports from human rights organizations, since a controversial budget spending ceiling was approved in late 2016, Brazil has stopped investing around R $ 30 billion (today about $ 5.17 billion) in the health sector.
Although the problem has dragged on from before, since, according to these calculations, between 2007 and 2019, the lack of resources has led to a reduction of 49,000 intensive care beds in the country.
«The laboratories of the public health system are dismantled and that's not six months ago, it's ten, fifteen years. That delayed the detection and diagnosis of the coronavirus and now the hospitals are going to pay a huge price, “says Lacerda.