Pan American Health Organisation – (PAHO) has expressed its concern over the rising COVID-19 cases in the Caribbean and Americas region. The Director of PAHO – Dr Carissa Etienne, noted that this increase came after cases declined in two consecutive months, noting that over the last week, 700,000 new cases along with 13,000 COVID related deaths were confirmed in the Americas.
Dr Etienne further highlighted that Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico had reported a decline in the COVID-19 cases, while on the other hand, cases are rising in the Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Cayman Islands and Dominica.
“Most of the Caribbean countries show a case fatality rate below 2 per cent, while Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago have a case fatality rate above 2 % but below 3 %”, cited the Director of Health Emergencies of PAHO – Dr Ciro Ugarte.
Dr Ugarte noted that as the countries are opening their borders for travellers, it increases the chances of COVID-19 transmission, adding that their organisation is assisting several countries in strengthening their capacity of ICU beds and even healthcare workers.
PAHO officials also outlined that in the Caribbean and the Latin American region, at least 48 % of the population is fully vaccinated.
He further added that “PAHO is working with several manufacturers to assure additional doses on behalf of the region and has signed supply agreements with three manufactures who are – WHO emergency use listed vaccines and is in final negotiations with a fourth supplier”.
Apart from this, PAHO’s Director concluded that the Caribbean region is still witnessing vaccine hesitancy, emphasizing that – this is not the right time to relax the COVID-19 protocols or guidelines as the pandemic is not over yet.
She also urged the individuals to come forward and take their jabs of the COVID-19 vaccine.