2 December, 2022

Juan Miguel Pascale: "We have not detected the Delta variant in El Salvador"

Contrary to what the Ministry of Health of El Salvador assures, The director of the Gorgas Institute of Panama, who analyzed evidence of Covid-19 from the Central American country, assured that there is no circulation of variants of concern.
Salvadoran authorities continue to carry out coronavirus tests at different points. Source: (Ministry of Health)

Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

The Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies in Panama received evidence of coronavirus from El Salvador who underwent genomic sequencing to determine the type of variant that predominates in the territory and, despite the fact that four weeks ago the Ministry of Health of the Central American country assured that there was already circulation of the Delta variant in the country, the latest results indicate that this is not the case.

The director of Gorgas, Juan Miguel Pascale, explained in an interview to the Voice of Diaspora that the tests analyzed revealed that in El Salvador there is no presence of variants of concern at this time.

Pascale detailed the results of the genomic study to the tests from El Salvador.

"I have good news. We have not detected the Delta variant in El Salvador "

Pascale revealed that there are three variants of coronavirus predominant in the Central American country; but nevertheless, none are of concern to the World Health Organization (WHO)

The 22% of the collected samples correspond to variant A-2.5, that represents the 22% of contagions; it is followed by the variant B1-631 which means the 18% and the B1-627 which is the 13%.

What the tests did reveal is that there are two variants of interest that began to circulate in the country and are increasing their percentage of reach. The 11% of infections correspond to the Andean variant originating in South America and the 9% are of the Epsilon variant with the greatest presence in Mexico and the United States.

"More than 60% of the samples we receive from El Salvador are not of interest or concern at this time ".

It contradicts the data of the Ministry of Health

Juan Miguel Pascale's presentation was during the International Forum of the Voice of Diaspora: "The Delta variant and its Impact on the pandemic", In which the infectologist Iván Solano also participated, member of the Covid-19 Observatory of the Medical College of El Salvador. The professional recalled that the country's Health authorities assured four weeks ago that the Delta variant was present, but did not give much information about the tests.

Iván Solano highlighted the importance of having a genomic surveillance program in El Salvador.

"At a press conference the Minister of Health said that the Delta variant was present in El Salvador, but he did not report where those samples were sent at that time ".

Solano demanded that a genomic surveillance program be established in the country coronavirus to take appropriate measures in terms of public health and there is more transparency in the handling of information.

The announcement about the presence of the Delta variant

Without detailing the number of cases or the studies carried out, the 31 July this year the Minister of Health, Francisco Alabi, announced the presence of the Delta variant of coronavirus, that has dozens of countries in the world on alert due to their level of contagion and lethality.

Francisco Alabi announced Delta's presence in El Salvador four weeks ago.

Alabi assured at that time that the first confirmed case did not come from abroad, which would mean that the mutation already circulates in a community way. He did not give more details about it and asked to continue with the recommended sanitary measures, as well as joining the vaccination campaign against the disease.