Health Dept. unveils long-term COVID-19 response
By John McPhaul
The island Department of Health on Thursday presented a comprehensive and integrated action plan to identify and address the prolonged manifestations of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico.
The plan has four main components: Epidemiological Surveillance, Mitigation, Management and Treatment, and Research. In its first phase, the action plan will study the prevalence of the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the island.
“We continue to lead efforts to cover all aspects of COVID-19 management. Early surveillance, detection, prevention and treatment of the disease are our priority,” Health Secretary Carlos Mellado López said in a press conference. “With this action plan, we expanded our clinical and community outreach to coordinate appropriate rehabilitation services aimed at people who suffered from the disease.”
The offices of the chief epidemiology officer, Dr. Melissa Marzán, and the chief medical officer, Dr. Iris Cardona, will coordinate the efforts in collaboration with government agencies, scientific and academic institutions such as the Puerto Rico Public Health Trust, and health centers.
Meanwhile, the Puerto Rico Scientific Coalition earlier this week presented recommendations in the context of the omicron variant and the new wave of cases globally, including a third vaccine dose for all who have had two doses.
“It is important to remember that boosters are recommended for people over 16 years of age who received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine more than six months ago or who received their only dose of the J&J vaccine more than two months ago,” Dr. Kenira Thompson, a member of the coalition, said in a written statement.