A: Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
In Paraguay, dengue has been a public health problem caused by various factors such as the climate, the final disposal of liquid and solid waste and other issues related to the provision of basic services. By early 2020, Paraguay surpassed the epidemiological trends for dengue outbreaks, with 106,127 suspected cases, 33,483 new cases and 20 deaths as of Epidemiological Week (EW) 6, with an extremely high increase compared to previous years.
The Government of Paraguay declared a health emergency throughout the country. The dengue transmitting vector circulated in all 17 departments in the country, initially gaining strength in the capital city of Asunción and in the Central department. In epidemiological weeks 22, 23 and 24, between 51 and 100 cases of dengue were reported in Central department, followed by 10 to 50 cases in six departments (Alto Paraná, Itapúa, Caaguazú, Boquerón, Ñeembucú and Asunción).
In March, the COVID-19 pandemic increased the complexity of this dengue epidemic. As soon as the first COVID-19 cases were detected in the second week of March, the national government declared a National Health Emergency and ordered preventive isolation, mobility restriction and physical distancing measures. In compliance with Ministry of Health instructions, all cases involving fevers were to be treated as suspected cases of COVID-19, which led to a decrease in reporting and registration of dengue cases.