At the pandemic’s one-year anniversary in Latin America, “we are certainly now not out of the woods.”
Washington D.C., February 24, 2021 (PAHO) Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa F. Etienne today described the Americas as the “epicenter” of the COVID-19 pandemic and called on the international neighborhood to make regional access to vaccines “a global precedence.”
The lifestyles-saving power of vaccines should now not be a privilege for the few, however a apt for all – especially the nations at greatest threat savor these in the Americas, which remain the epicenter of the pandemic. Our Location wants vaccines as rapidly as potential, and as many as potential, to save lives.”
(PAHO) Director Carissa F. Etienne
Asserting that the Americas has been the Location hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, she said “millions remain vulnerable to an infection and death.” Whereas 28 nations have started offering COVID-19 vaccines thru bilateral deals with manufacturers or small donations from other nations, “that is now not satisfactory, and it shouldn’t be acceptable.”
In a hopeful fashion, nations receiving COVID-19 vaccines thru COVAX – the global mechanism working to be certain equitable access – will receive hundreds of thousands of doses in the next few weeks, she said.
PAHO’s Revolving Fund has been leading efforts on behalf of regional nations to purchase vaccines thru COVAX.
But “despite the steps being taken to ship vaccines as fleet as potential, we are level-headed way behind where we should be as a region,” Dr. Etienne said. “That is why we are urging the global neighborhood to make COVID vaccinations in the Americas a global precedence as it is where the need and threat are greatest.”
The initial distributions of COVAX-procured vaccines to nations in the region will camouflage about 2% to 2.5% of the population.
Dr. Etienne marked the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in Brazil, declaring that more than 10 million Brazilians have since been infected and the Americas has now not but turned the nook, with nearly 50 million in the Americas infected with the virus.
Whereas substantial reductions in COVID-19 cases have been reported unbiased lately, vital of that is because of enchancment in the U.S., where cases and deaths declined by 30% this week over last week. Meanwhile, pandemic stipulations in Latin America and the Caribbean are mixed. Dr. Etienne said, “…I want to emphasize that we are certainly now not out of the woods.”
Recent cases have decreased dramatically in Uruguay, where rapid implementation of public health measures brought down document-high infections. In Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador decline has been less substantial, with cases down about 4% this week compared to last week.
In many nations, an infection is level-headed growing. Peru is struggling original outbreaks along its Amazonian border with Brazil and Colombia. In the Caribbean, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Turks and Caicos are reporting a upward push in original infections.
“To manipulate the virus, we should remain vigilant and committed to the public health measures we know are effective – especially as original variants circulate in the region and may increase the burden on our health techniques,” Dr. Etienne said. “That is why PAHO continues to visual display unit the virus’s spread in our region for any changes in transmission, and why nations should proceed to practice social distancing, wear masks and avoid mass gatherings.”
Dr. Etienne supplied assurance that COVID vaccines procured thru COVAX are safe and effective. The vaccines – evaluated fastidiously and totally by WHO and, in many cases, by national regulatory authorities – have been confirmed to dramatically decrease potentialities of extreme indicators.
“Via the facility of vaccines, our region has eliminated smallpox, polio, rubella and measles,” Dr. Etienne said. “With COVID-19, it’s no diverse: safe and effective vaccines will encourage us turn the tide of this pandemic, however easiest if we can reach these most vulnerable, no matter where they dwell or who they are. And we are able to level-headed have to maintain the confirmed public health measures of making an attempt out, contact tracing, quarantine, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and masks till the pandemic recedes.”