Argentine President Alberto Fernández announced at dawn this Saturday (3) that he had contracted Covid-19 after feeling symptoms compatible with the disease. “After I had a fever of 37.3 ° C and a slight headache, I took an antigen test which was positive,” Fernández said on Twitter.
The peronist, who said he was physically well, then underwent a PCR test which confirmed the infection – the antigen test is rapid detection by nasal or throat swab, but it is less sensitive than PCR. Fernández turned 62 on Friday (2) and took advantage of the announcement to thank “the many expressions of affection in memory of my birth”.
The Argentine was the first president to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in Latin America. He took the first dose of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine on January 21 at Posadas Hospital in Buenos Aires. A little less than a month later, the Argentine leader received his second dose on February 11. Fernández told a local radio station on Saturday that “if I hadn’t had the vaccine I would have been much worse” to prevent the case from turning into negative Sputnik V propaganda.
Vaccines do not fully guarantee that a person will not be infected with the coronavirus, but they are highly effective in preventing the disease from progressing to serious illness. After months of criticism due to the lack of revision and the accelerated pace of its application in Russia, the Sputnik V vaccine finally had, in early February, the preliminary analysis of its phase 3 trials published by the British magazine The Lancet.
The Russian immunizer was 91.6% effective in a study involving around 20,000 participants. Of these, 16 contaminants developed Covid-19 with mild symptoms in the vaccinated group and 62 among those who took a placebo. There were no severe or moderate cases among those vaccinated, while 20 were recorded among those given an inert solution. The length of protection granted has not yet been analyzed, but the Russians say they believe it can last between seven months and two years.
Shortly after Fernández’s announcement, the Gamaleya Institute, which produces Sputnik V, posted a message on Twitter lamenting the contamination of the Argentine president and stressing the effectiveness of over 90% against infections and 100% against severe cases of the disease. “If contagion is confirmed, vaccination guarantees rapid recovery without severe symptoms. We wish you a speedy recovery!”
Heads of State and Allies also sent messages of support, such as Presidents of Chile and Mexico, Sebastián Piñera and Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in addition to former Presidents of Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, Evo Morales, Rafael Corrêa and Lula. Current Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro has yet to speak, although he received a letter from Fernández when he was infected with the coronavirus in July of last year. In the message, the Argentine leader wanted him to recover quickly and said that “the virus does not distinguish between ruled and ruled”.
After announcing the contamination, Fernández asked the population to follow safety recommendations in the context of the health crisis. “It is clear that the pandemic has not passed and we must continue to take care of ourselves,” he said. He said that, even before receiving the PCR test result, he was already isolated, “following the current protocol and following the instructions of the personal physician.”
Finally, he said everyone he had met in the past 48 hours had been approached to determine if the contact was close enough that they were also quarantined. Fernández had a meeting scheduled for Saturday to decide on further restrictive measures, but the meeting will have to be done by phone. The promise is for more announcements after Easter.
Covid-19 has already killed 56,023 people in Argentina and infected 2.3 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. About 682,868 people have been vaccinated to date, with priority given to the elderly and healthcare professionals.
OTHER LEADERS WHO HAVE HAD COVID-19
Boris Johnson, 56
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (stayed in the ICU for three days)
Albert, 62 years old
prince of monaco
Nikol Pashinyan, 45
Prime Minister of Armenia
Juan Orlando Hernandez, 52
President of Honduras
Jair Bolsonaro, 66
Jeanine Añez, 53 years old
Acting President of Bolivia
Aleksandr Lukachenko, 66
dictator of Belarus
Alejandro Giammattei, 64 years old
president of Guatemala
Donald Trump, 74
President of the United States (he was hospitalized for 3 days)
Boyko Borissov, 61
Prime Minister of Bulgaria
Abdelmadjid Tebboune, 75 years old
President of Algeria (spent 47 days in hospital)
Andrej Plenkovic, 50 years old
prime minister of croatia
Ion Chicu, 48 years old
Prime Minister of Moldova
Emmanuel Macron, 43 years old
President of France
Igor Matovic, 47 years old
Prime Minister of Slovakia
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 67 years old
president of mexico