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Increase in COVID-19 cases, what should the new government do? Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski and Professor Joanna Zajkowska comment

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The coronavirus not only attacks us in a way that everyone can see, but also affects our immune system in the long term – said Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24. He added that time is running against us in infectious diseases. Professor Joanna Zajkowska pointed out that in order to obtain the real number of cases, the number of infections given by the Ministry of Health “needs to be multiplied by a multiple”.

The increase in COVID-19 cases was discussed in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24 by Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski, an expert of the Supreme Medical Council on epidemic threats, and Professor Joanna Zajkowska, specialist in infectious diseases and epidemiology from the Department of Infectious Diseases and Neuroinfections of the University Clinical Hospital in Białystok, Podlasie provincial epidemiology consultant.

READ ALSO: Increase in COVID-19 cases. “The situation has changed since the advent of the omicron variant.”

Dr. Grzesiowski: The coronavirus not only attacks us in a way that everyone can see

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– The virus we’re talking about, that is coronavirus, not only attacks us in a way that everyone can see, i.e. fever, cough, headache or sore throat, but also affects our immune system in the long run. So, after a few months, situations appear that we did not expect before, for example autoimmune diseases, greater susceptibility to bacteria or other viruses, or finally another COVID-19 infection – said Dr. Grzesiowski.

– Because the research is clear in this regard. Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus is, to some extent, similar to an attack by the HIV virus. It impairs our immune system and may cause various serious threats in the future that we do not think about today, because today we associate COVID with colds, flu, respiratory diseases, and we absolutely cannot think about this disease – he continued.

Prof. Zajkowska: the number of infections given by the Ministry of Health must be multiplied by a multiple

Professor Joanna Zajkowska referred to the number of infections given by the Ministry of Health. On Saturday, the ministry reported that 2,354 infections had been recorded.

– This number, of course, does not indicate the number of patients, because it is the number of positive results reported from laboratories, so it must be multiplied by a multiple – she said.

She added that “currently we have an increase in the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections.” – We see this in the absence of teachers at schools, and we see this in the absence of our colleagues at work. In the multitude of patients in emergency rooms – she enumerated. She emphasized that getting COVID-19 is “not an ordinary infection.” – Because we already have more and more information about the effects of COVID, (…). We have multi-organ complications, she said.

As she said, based on her direct experience in the clinic, “COVID itself does not cause respiratory failure, but causes worsening of comorbidities, exacerbation of circulatory failure, exacerbation of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – ed.), or other diseases that patients have.” – And they often end unsuccessfully – she added.

Dr. Grzesiowski: Every day, several dozen thousand more people fall ill with COVID-19

Dr. Grzesiowski was also asked whether the health care system is prepared for the growing number of infected people.

– Two thousand sick a day is not a problem, but we are talking about 80,000 sick a day. We are talking about the fact that every day several tens of thousands of people fall ill with COVID-19. We have confirmation of these estimates because these are not hard data that we have from tests, but we say this based on the so-called R index, i.e. an indicator of the dynamics of the pandemic wave. He’s still tall, the doctor said.

– We can see that the pandemic wave caused by these latest variants has been going on since the beginning of September. The second completely objective indicator that cannot be cheated is sewage, he pointed out. – People shed the virus when they are sick in their stools into the sewage, and we measure it. Fortunately, Warsaw is one of the few cities in Poland, and probably even the only one at the moment, that measures the level of the virus in sewage and it is the same as three years ago, in the fall of 2020. Let me remind you that at that time, 40,000 to 60,000 people were sick every day, he added.

Dr. Grzesiowski lists three main expectations for the new government regarding the fight against COVID-19

The expert of the Supreme Medical Council on epidemic threats was asked to list three main expectations for the soon-to-be-formed new government regarding the management of COVID-19 cases in Poland.

– I imagine that a so-called crisis management team should be established very quickly, because we have a crisis and we cannot hide it. There are a lot of diseases and we are talking about long-term effects. We expect that the incidence of tuberculosis and other bacterial diseases will increase. We have a growing problem of antibiotic-resistant infections. We need to start organizing this immediately, really without undue delay – emphasized the TVN24 guest.

– So the surveillance system, drugs and vaccines. This must be organized very quickly, because time is running against us in infectious diseases, he added.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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