PAHO Deputy Director says Covid cases are more than reported
Dr. Marcos Espinal, deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) in Washington, warned that the rise in COVID-19 cases seen in many countries, including the Dominican Republic, may only represent a fraction of the total number of infections. The Dominican expert recognizes that by relaxing preventive measures such as mask use, low demand for diagnostic tests, crowding, and fatigue, among others, the true state of the virus in the countries will not be reflected.
As a result, he stressed the importance of countries working on SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing, noting that in the Dominican Republic, the sequencing indicates that omicron is the most common variant this year and that vaccines are effective against this variant. Concerning the three circulating respiratory viruses, such as influenza, Covid-19, and respiratory syncytial, the specialist stated that seasonal flu cases in the region are increasing after two years of below-average activity.
He noted that the Dominican Republic also experienced below-average activity during the pandemic’s peak years, owing to the impact of all isolation and distancing measures, which contributed to low circulation, but that the country will resume its normal autumn and winter pattern in 2022.