Paraguay began vaccination against covid-19 with a severe warning from the Minister of Health

(CNN Español) — Paraguay began the vaccination campaign against covid-19 on Monday. There will be 2,000 health workers who will receive the Sputnik V vaccine during this first stage. The Minister of Health, Julio Mazzoleni, applied the historic first dose in the country.

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Mirian Arrúa, a nurse in the intensive care respiratory area with 13 years of service, was the first to receive the immunization, according to the Ministry of Health. After receiving the first of two doses of the Russian vaccine at the National Hospital in Itauguá, 30 kilometers from Asunción, the health worker urged her colleagues to get vaccinated. “You don’t have to be afraid to get vaccinated. We are going to be safer taking care of patients, “said Arrúa.

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On Sunday, hours before the vaccination campaign began, Minister Mazzoleni had issued a warning from his Twitter account: “Anyone caught doing something improper with vaccines will be dismissed,” the official wrote.

Paraguay has so far only 4,000 doses of Sputnik V, which arrived in the country last week and are part of a batch of one million vaccines purchased from the Russian Direct Investment Fund. Authorities approved the emergency use of this vaccine on January 15.

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The country also expects to receive 4.3 million doses of the AstraZenaca vaccine through the COVAX mechanism, a coalition led by the World Health Organization that seeks to provide equitable global access to covid-19 vaccines.

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Meanwhile, President Mario Abdo Benítez decreed new sanitary measures throughout the country from Monday, February 22 to March 14. Displacements are allowed between 5 AM and 11:59 PM, while social events, both in public and private spaces, cannot have more than 100 people. Additionally, no alcoholic beverages may be marketed or distributed between 11:59 PM and 5 AM, according to the government statement.

According to the decree, “the use of a mask continues to be mandatory in all closed places, on public roads and in those in which the physical distancing established by the isolation protocols cannot be maintained.”

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On the other hand, the document indicates that the return to classes in the public sector, scheduled for March 2, will be done in “the virtual or hybrid-blended mode”.

According to the report of the Ministry of Health this Sunday, Paraguay registers 3,065 deaths from covid-19 and 151,718 confirmed cases of the disease.

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