The Collegiate of Titular Professors of the Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo (FMUSP) publicly expresses its concern about the serious moment that we are going through in Brazil. We face one of the biggest health and humanitarian crises in our history. We are experiencing a frightening increase in the number of reported cases of COVID-19 illness and we have reached the tragic threshold of more than 2,000 daily deaths from the disease.
Equally serious damage is the devastating material and affective effects of these deaths on the families and communities of those who have gone; the persistent sequelae in many of those who have managed to overcome the acute phase of the disease; the collapse of health services and the exhaustion of professionals, not only hindering the provision of care to patients with COVID-19, but also obstructing the access of patients with other types of urgent and relevant demands.
An aggravating challenge of the situation is the emergence of variants of SARS-Cov-2, which has made our race for immunization even more urgent and, more importantly, for the implementation of structural and behavioral measures to control the pandemic.
For this, we join our voices to those who call on authorities, professionals, opinion leaders and every citizen of our country to radically assume the commitment to build an effective and supportive response to overcome this sad scenario.
We know that the task is complex and will require efforts, but we already have clear paths to follow:
1) coordination of the different levels of administration - federal, state and municipal - to optimize the capacity of the SUS to respond to the pandemic in the country, from the Basic Units to the Intensive Care Units;
2) implementation of testing strategies, tracking and isolation of cases and contacts;
3) genetic surveillance for early identification of viral variants;
4) the adoption of radical Lockdown measures in the most affected regions, with socially agreed strategies to ensure adherence and effectiveness;
5) development of intersectoral emergency policies to provide the material and logistical conditions necessary for the adequate adherence of people to physical isolation policies, especially for regions and populations in situations of greater vulnerability;
6) the implementation of a social communication strategy capable of promoting a culture of prevention that guides and encourages people to wear masks, hand hygiene and avoid crowds;
7) involvement of the leaders of affected groups and vulnerable communities to identify needs and strategies appropriate to different local situations;
8) issuance of technical standards for the various interaction spaces (schools, industries, commerce, among others) to reduce the environmental risk of transmission, taking care especially of public transport to ensure the current non-agglomeration;
9) significant acceleration of the vaccination program, with strategic criteria for prioritizing target populations;
10) measures to combat fake news, misinformation and bad practices of prevention and treatment.
As we can see, there is a need for a firm ethical and political commitment so that these measures are put into operation and so that we can build the future of progress and well-being, with social justice and freedom, that we seek for our population. The Full Professors of FMUSP reiterate this commitment and, once again, they join those who work to ensure that a future of health and prosperity to be as soon as possible our present.
São Paulo, March 16th, 2021.
Manifest of the Titular Professors Collegiate of FMUSP