The director of the molecular biology laboratory of the Regional Health Directorate (Diresa), Jorge Bazán Mayra, says that the increase in cases is likely due to the prevalence of the British and Brazilian COVID variants.
Last month the laboratory sent 100 random samples to the National Health Institute (INS) collected during March for a study on the exposure of the virus. Out of 40 samples evaluated, 75% were the Brazilian variant and 7.5% were the British variant according to Bazán.
“We suspect that the new strain of the virus has been circulating in Cajamarca since the end of February because it coincides with the increase of infections and deaths registered last month”, said Bazán.
The study did not revealed the age group breakdown of those infected, but in Cajamarca there is a high rate of infected young people including some who have died.
“They are two variants of the virus that has mutated, it has changed its structure and that makes it easily transmissible from one person to another. It means that we are going to have a greater number of cases, people at risk, more hospitalizations and a greater number of deaths,” said Bazán.
Bazán was concerned about the preliminary INS report and the high percentage of the new variant in Cajamarca compared to other regions. “Today there are cases of young people who are being significantly and severely affected, young people who are probably dying with some morbidity as a result of the new variant.”
“We have had a quite significant increase, we have surpassed in statistics the first wave; we are still analyzing the information, but the data tell us that we are in a very rapid increase in which many people are affected aggressively with the new variants,” he continued.
The Cajamarca region had 285 COVID-related deaths in March after only 171 deaths in February and 103 in January (Sinadef). The provinces with the most deaths in March were Cajamarca (195), Jaen (29), Cajabamba (15), Chota (11), and San Marcos (9). A total of 7,406 residents in the region were infected with COVID-19 during the month.
According to the latest Diresa report, Cajamarca has had 66,316 people infected with the virus, 1,734 deaths and 343 hospitalized.
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