Alarm for infected contacts that are not isolated because they are asymptomatic

Health authorities and public health professionals are very concerned to find that a part of the close contacts from a person who has tested positive for PCR not isolated at home the corresponding 14 days. There is no data on how many there are, but surveillance and follow-up systems for contacts, the so-called trackers, they assure that they are not few. Many are those who have called the homes of these and do not pick up the phone or do it from the street (they can go out and buy the essentials while maintaining all the security measures).

Such is the situation that some communities, such as Andalusia, have imposed fines between 100 and 3,000 euros to those who do not comply with the established security measures, including compliance with isolation. The fines will depend on the number of people who may have been infected by their negligence.

Health recognizes that this is a serious problem that affects the health of all. Because many of those who skip the asylum are people who “are in perfect condition, because they are asymptomatic” In fact, about 60% of new cases are asymptomatic. The concern is justified in that 39% of close contacts of positive cases develop symptoms within a few days, some very mild, but that means they spread. The message that the asymptomatic do not infect has spread too much, they recognize, especially when a good part of them are pre-symptomatic (that is, when they test positive and have no symptoms).


Some are workers who fear losing their jobs; others, young people who do not see the risk

Trackers and primary care professionals have told this newspaper that there are several profiles among close contacts who refuse to carry out such home confinement as they should. On the one hand, there are those who fear that taking a leave would mean dismissal soon after at work. This is the case, says Ester Amores, a nurse who performs tracing tasks, of a woman who was caring for a woman who tested positive. “The lady told me that she was a close contact, but when I went to call her, she was only communicating. Within a few minutes the lady who had tested positive called me and said she was wrong, that it was not close contact. Do you know what the reality was? That she was not discharged and had other hourly jobs. If they forced her to be quarantined, she lost the income she needed to live. ”

Many are those who allege reasons for work or family to avoid asylum and others, who simply do not want. This group, points out a tracker from Torrejón de Ardoz, has increased considerably in recent weeks. They are young people (up to 35 years old) who feel good and refuse to be at home. Parents (in the case of the youngest) cannot hold them because on many occasions they do not even know that they are close contacts of a positive or that after testing they have tested positive. “And we cannot do anything. We cannot put a policeman at every door, ”he says with obvious signs of despair.

A sanitary from the biological research center of the Butantan Institute performs a PCR test (Sebastiao Moreira / EFE)

Another problem encountered by the health authorities at that time is the negative from certain people to get a coronavirus test. “We have gone from the test for everyone to do not want anyone to do me,” says Ester Amores. Because taking the test leads, in the event that it is positive, to isolate yourself. “And nobody wants that, some because they don’t want to stop being with their friends, others because of work. There is always a reason, “says Amores, upset by the” absolute absence of responsibility of many people. “


“We have gone from the test for everyone to not wanting to be tested to avoid quarantines”

Given these behaviors, little can be done, they admit. There are not enough police to control that people comply with security measures. Fines can help, they say unconvinced. What they are clearly betting on is clear and truthful information about the risks they are exposed to and those they expose to others. Raise awareness. “And stop saying that the asymptomatic do not infect, because the one who is asymptomatic today is not,” they assure.

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