PAHO warns of more than 7 million cases of Covid-19 in seven days | News
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned this Wednesday about the high rate of contagion by Covid-19 in the region of the Americas during the last week, after reporting 7.2 million new positive cases, as a consequence of the expansion of the Omicron strain.
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In this sense, the director of PAHO, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, pointed out that in countries such as the United States and Canada, hospitalizations have increased considerably; a situation similar to that experienced in South America by Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.
Argentina also exhibits an infectious peak, as well as Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia; as well as in Central America Panama, Costa Rica and Honduras, the latter nations that have exceeded twice their previous positivity indicators.
Meanwhile, in the Caribbean, more than 17 countries have also more than doubled their numbers of infections; a situation in which he expressed that “countries must expand the detection tests for Covid-19 at the community level to alleviate the pressure on hospitals, which are working overtime”.
By the way, the senior official stressed the need to safeguard health workers who are on the front line of care, given the 250 percent increase in infections compared to the same period in 2021; this staff is crucial in confronting the new wave, fundamentally in clinics and hospitals.
“We must ensure that they are protected from the worst consequences of this virus,” Etienne said. while detailing that the application of booster doses is a good option for health personnel to resist exposure to the virus.
“Although omicron infections appear to be milder, we continue to urge caution because the virus is spreading more actively than ever before. Vaccines shield us from the worst #COVID19 symptoms and reduce our chances of needing hospitalized care,” @DirOPSPAHO pic.twitter.com/JSFdmF81WH
— PAHO/WHO (@pahowho)
January 19, 2022
“To stop the spread of Covid-19, all the tools in our arsenal will be needed: vaccines, physical distancing, well-fitting masks, avoiding large gatherings and carrying out tests,” the senior official detailed.
Which in turn detailed that more than 60 percent of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean have completed their vaccination schedule against the disease caused by the Sars-CoV-2 virus. “Vaccines protect us from the worst symptoms and reduce the chances of needing hospital care”; he said while urging those who have not yet been immunized to do so.
Etienne detailed that since the beginning of the pandemic, PAHO has acquired more than 42 million molecular RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests for 36 countries, with its own funds and through its Strategic Fund.
Joint procurement mechanism which grants the nations of the region access to quality medicines and medical devices at affordable prices, to mitigate the existing inequity in terms of accessibility to health services and supplies.
“Countries can and should take advantage of these agreements to purchase diagnostic tests through our Strategic Fund,” Etienne said.