‘More aggressive’: Brazil asks women to delay pregnancy ‘if possible’ over coronavirus variant

Published on Apr 17, 2021 06:40 PM IST
  • The secretary of primary health care of the Brazilian health ministry said that women should consider delaying pregnancy “a bit to a better time so that (they) can have a more peaceful pregnancy."
Brazil is the second worst-hit country in terms of deaths related to coronavirus disease (Covid-19).(Pixabay)
Brazil is the second worst-hit country in terms of deaths related to coronavirus disease (Covid-19).(Pixabay)
By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav

Brazil has asked women to postpone pregnancy “if possible”, saying the variants of coronavirus have been more aggressive in pregnant women, according to CNN. Raphael Camara, secretary of primary health care of the Brazilian health ministry, told a news conference that women should consider delaying pregnancy “a bit to a better time so that (they) can have a more peaceful pregnancy."

"We cannot say this to those who are 42, 43 years old, of course, but for a young woman who can, the best thing is to wait for a little," Camara was quoted by CNN as saying.

Brazil is the second worst-hit country in terms of deaths related to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and a team of public health experts warned this week that the Latin American nation could be head for even worse times because of a “dangerous combination of inaction and wrongdoing.” Brazil has so far reported more than 368,000 deaths related to Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Camara said that although the ministry is still working on the studies related to pregnancy and coronavirus variants, “the clinical view of experts shows that the new variant has a more aggressive action on pregnant women”, per CNN. “Before, [severity] was linked to the end of the pregnancy, but now (they) see a more serious evolution in the second trimester and even in the first trimester," he added.

In a report published in the journal Science, a team of researchers highlighted the factors behind the worsening situation in Brazil, including the promotion of chloroquine as treatment despite a lack of evidence and lack of coordinated national strategy. The report was authored by Marcia Castro of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, experts at the University of São Paulo and elsewhere.

The variant of concern (VOC), P.1, first emerged in the Brazilian city of Manaus is estimated to be 1.4-2.2 times more transmissible, with the ability to evade immunity from previous non-P.1 infection, according to a modelling study. Researchers at the University of São Paulo, in collaboration with Imperial College London and the University of Oxford, recently estimated that the P.1 variant evades 25-61% of protective immunity arising from infection with previously circulating variants.

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