How many travelers provided evidence of vaccination against COVID-19 upon arrival in Puerto Rico?

How many travelers provided evidence of vaccination against COVID-19 upon arrival in Puerto Rico?

From the end of May to the beginning of October, 29% of Puerto Ricans did not provide proof of vaccination upon arrival in Puerto Rico. This figure rises to 45% in the line of travelers who are visitors or not residing in the archipelago, Taken from the latest report of the Airport and Port Epidemiological Surveillance System (SVEAP-COVID19) for COVID-19. Ministry of Health.

According to the report published on October 5, the vast majority of travelers who did not provide evidence of vaccination complied with the alternative of submitting a negative vaccination test result. COVID-19 No more than 72 hours after it’s completed, or 48 hours after your arrival. According to Health, 15% of resident travelers provided a COVID-19 test prior to their arrival, while 13% did so within 48 hours. In the same trend, 34% of non-resident travelers provided a SARS-CoV-2 test before their arrival, and 7% afterward.

Similarly, 1% and 2% of resident and non-resident travelers, respectively, have health that qualifies as exempt or has a history of COVID-19. When you add up the numbers, there are 2% of non-resident travelers who didn’t fulfill any of the options. Since May 25, Health Administrative Order 503 has been in effect, imposing fines of $300 on travelers who fail to provide a COVID-19 test if they are not vaccinated.

Most people comply,” said Dr. Victor Ramos, president of the College of Surgeons of Puerto Rico. “If we compare it to other airports in the US where there are literally nothing, there are some warnings of COVID, but no restrictions, I think (in Puerto Rico) it’s been done really well.”

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Since July 2020, Salud has been monitoring travelers through the automated system of the digital platform SARA Alert (Situational Awareness and Response Assistant, in English). As of that date, according to the latest report, SVEAP-COVID19 has detected 4,087,664, as a result of which 6,310 positives have been identified. It is clear from the report that 100% of the travelers were not monitored. For example, in August 92% of travelers were spotted and in September 94%. The report also identifies that out of a total of 24,595 passengers on cruise ships, three positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified, as well as 12 positive cases out of a total of 13,773 crew members.

“The cases identified on the ship were immediately isolated and did not land in Puerto Rico,” Salud noted in the report. Epidemiologist Myriam Ramos, director of SVEAP-COVID19, yesterday did not respond to a request for an interview with the aim of updating data she did not include in her report, at a time when there may be an increase in the number of travellers. Puerto Rico from November.

The US government announced Friday that it will lift travel restrictions from November 8 on fully vaccinated foreign nationals arriving in the country and its territory. In Puerto Rico, by administrative order from the Minister of Health, Carlos Melado, all travelers upon arrival must provide evidence of a complete series of COVID-19 vaccinations, or a negative SARS-CoV-2 test 72 hours in advance. is over.

The report specifies that SVEAP-COVID19 is responsible for planning, monitoring, and evaluating health practices at airports and ports in response to Executive Order 2021-037, as amended. But the implications of the federal government’s flexibility for international travelers from 33 countries whose entry into the United States has been suspended or restricted remain unclear.

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“We are waiting for the federal government to announce the content of the order that will apply to Puerto Rico,” Lesdian Acevedo, a health spokesperson, noted in a written letter Friday. Currently, Salud requires international travelers arriving in Puerto Rico to submit a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of their vaccination status. With the federal relaxation of travelers from countries with restrictions, Dr. Ramos said, “If they are vaccinated, they do not have to provide evidence (negative for COVID-19), and if they are not vaccinated, they have to provide evidence.”

The important difference, he said, is that with federal flexibility, travelers from international destinations will be able to provide proof of a full series of any of the vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) so far. As of September 2021, the World Health Organization has licensed vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Janssen, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.

Puerto Rico welcomed 5,216,028 travelers from July 2020 to the beginning of October this year, indicating the latest SVEAP-COVID19 report. However, the document does not detail details such as the number of travelers per month who arrived in the archipelago with evidence of a vaccine or negative COVID-19 test, or the number of positive cases identified per month. The absence of this data occurs even with August and September 2021, only during rebounds in cases caused by the delta variant of COVID-19.

Aygen Marsh

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