Vulnerable of us already receiving vaccines and “hundreds of thousands” extra doses are expected early subsequent one year. Urges hope however also persistence and team spirit.
Washington, D.C., December 16, 2020 (PAHO)— The COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020 “is undoubtedly the most unprecedented public nicely being tournament of our lifetimes,” Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Dr. Carissa F. Etienne mentioned this day. “This pandemic stands out in each scale and affect. And it has effect a spotlight on two of the longstanding challenges of our pickle: inequality and underinvestment of our nicely being systems.”
Since the birth of this pandemic, less than a one year ago, the Divulge of the Americas has recorded nearly 31 million cases and 787,000 deaths as a consequence of COVID-19. This represents roughly half of all COVID-19 infections and deaths worldwide.”
“While we hope 2021 will usher a unique chapter in our war by distinction virus, holding the hundreds of thousands of of us in our pickle with COVID-19 vaccines will be an remarkable endeavor. So, we must all the time be patient and dwell reasonable that COVID-19 will be among us for some time – so our work to govern it cannot and must not discontinuance,” Etienne mentioned.
The PAHO Director noted that 2020 “become a one year unlike any other. And I’m hoping that as we explore support on it, we remember it not handiest as the one year that introduced us COVID-19, however the one year we at final made up our minds to form nicely being our high priority.”
Controlling the pandemic, she mentioned, “will require us to sign the lessons we’ve realized thus far and to handle the challenges that beget prolonged held us support: pervasive inequality and underfunded nicely being systems.”
“Health systems across our pickle struggled to manage the influx of COVID-19 cases as a consequence of shrimp presents, home and team. The COVID-19 response also disrupted the indispensable nicely being products and services that folks rely on to manage stipulations cherish HIV, TB, as nicely as diabetes and hypertension. As a result, sufferers are at higher possibility from these treatable stipulations and our pickle would possibly furthermore lose many years of development in opposition to ailments,” Etienne noted.
PAHO’s collaboration to handle the epidemic
The Divulge of the Americas in 2020 “matched tragedy and adversity with dedication and team spirit,” she mentioned, noting that in the early stages PAHO helped member countries beget procure admission to to PCR checks, developed a laboratory network to detect cases in cities and rural areas, trained nicely being team, and assisted in delivering resources and support. The number of ICU beds in Latin The US nearly doubled this one year thanks to countries swift efforts.
“PAHO become ready to support readiness assessments in extra than 500 public hospitals in our pickle that helped form nation programs by distinction virus. PAHO has led hundreds of trainings and donated hundreds of thousands of PPEs and diagnostic checks and issued extra than 100 items of technical guidance to be definite that nicely being team understand the latest science and can procure admission to the latest instruments they must safely fight this virus,” Etienne mentioned.
This week, she noted, “some of the most inclined of us in our pickle are already receiving COVID-19 vaccines, with hundreds of thousands extra doses expected early subsequent one year. This timeline is incredible and a testament to the unheard of collaboration among scientists, researchers and specialists alike.”
World partnerships cherish the COVAX Facility are also pooling resources, trip and efforts to be definite that countries beget equal procure admission to to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, below the same timelines, Etienne mentioned.
She thanked the Government of Canada for its donation of $255 million Canadian greenbacks to support COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, adding “We hope other countries will join Canada in its demonstration of team spirit and dedication to selling equitable procure admission to to safe and effective COVID-19 instruments.”
Responding to a query, Etienne mentioned that even as vaccines are rolled out, “countries cannot procure complacent, they must restful continue to promote the acceptable public nicely being measures to govern cases, akin to masks wearing and social distancing. Patients will must be examined, isolated, cared for, and we must all the time continue to quarantine suspected cases. None of this can discontinuance or we possibility too many lives. I’m spellbinding about all the work ahead — it won’t be easy nor quick.”