Latin American Physician Survey on COVID-19

Fine Research
on 04/03/2020

This is a large scale physician study in Latin American covering over 2200 doctors in 13 countries. showing data on their evaluation of public initiatives, hospital infrastructure, citizen awareness, patient profiles and future outlook. It provides a number of insights including evidence of a younger critical patient profile in Latin America than what is commonly reported for Europe and also a high proportion of patients with previous conditions (61%) thus providing useful data that can be used for decision makers to assess actions for reducing the death toll of the pandemic. The validity of the doctor opinions on effectiveness of public initiatives was validated by a post-survey check of the growth of the mortality rates 7 days after closing the survey. Those 5 countries which had a 90% or more support of the implemented policies by the medical community (namely Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and Uruguay) achieved an average growth of less than half the one checked by the other 8 countries, based on WHO reported data.

Why was the research conducted?

The research intended to be a contribution to provide early information on the physician perception of the pandemic and experience with COVID-19 patients in Latin America in order to contribute to public awareness and effective decision making against the pandemic in the region.

How was the research conducted?

It was completed online using Fine Panel Medical community

What are the key findings of the research?

It provides a number of insights including evidence of a younger critical patient profile in Latin America than what is commonly reported for Europe and also a high proportion of patients with previous conditions (61%) thus providing useful data that can be used for decision makers to assess actions for reducing the death toll of the pandemic.

The validity of the doctor opinions on effectiveness of public initiatives was validated by a post-survey check of the growth of the mortality rates 7 days after closing the survey. Those 5 countries which had a 90% or more support of the implemented policies by the medical community (namely Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and Uruguay) achieved an average growth of less than half the one checked by the other 8 countries, based on WHO reported data.

Other findings include

1. Positive evaluation of the policies of most states
2. High level of receptivity to guidelines for professionals, generally considered clear.
3. Physicians assess the population as mostly involved in the fight against the pandemic
4. Hospital infrastructure is perceived as deficient, with a high risk of short-term collapse of access to professional protective equipment, ventilators and intensive care areas.
5. Cough and fever are the most common symptoms but are not necessarily always present.
6. There is evidence of a probable under-recording of cases due to lack of testing capacity
7. Most critical patients are between 40 and 65 years old
8. The vast majority of critical patients have previous pathologies (diabetes, respiratory problems and/or are immunosuppressed)
9. Community transmission is the main source of the disease in Brazil. Whereas in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico, the spread of the disease still predominates among those who traveled or were in close contact with them.
10. As a future perspective, physicians estimate that restrictive measures would be maintained for more than 2 months, that mass testing capabilities would be developed in the short term, drug treatments would be developed in the next 12 months, and vaccine development would involve a longer term.

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Contributor's Name: Diego Casaravilla
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