Health June 16, 2021 | 6:42 pm

PAHO calls for tougher measures against covid-19 in high-transmission countries, including the Dominican Republic


The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) highlighted on Wednesday the incidence of covid-19 cases in several countries of the Americas in recent weeks and called for tightening measures to contain the spread of the virus in places of high transmission.

Regions of Mexico and Brazil and Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, and Uruguay have reported an increase in infections recently, said PAHO Director Carissa Etienne at a weekly press conference.

“In this context, we urge countries to tighten public health measures in places with high transmission. This is the most effective way to reduce cases until we have enough vaccines for everyone,” Etienne said.

PAHO strongly recommends wearing masks, maintaining physical distance between people, and avoiding crowds indoors as ways to contain the spread of the virus.

Etienne recalled that less than one in ten people in Latin America and the Caribbean is fully vaccinated against covid-19.

“We are a region of more than 600 million people where cases are increasing, hospitals are full and variants circulate rapidly,” she said.

In Mexico, Etienne noted a “slight increase” in infections in recent weeks, driven mainly by the Baja California and Yucatán regions.

Cuba and the Dominican Republic continue to generate the majority of new cases in the Caribbean, with high mortality rates in Trinidad and Tobago, the PAHO director noted.

She also highlighted the increase in infections in parts of Belize, Guatemala, and Panama.

In South America, he highlighted the peak of infections throughout Colombia, with a very high occupancy of beds in Intensive Care Units (ICU) in large metropolitan cities.

Covid-19 infections fill hospitals in cities like Sao Paulo, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and Uruguay, particularly with younger patients between the ages of 25 and 40, Etienne added.

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