PAHO establishes COVID-19 surveillance to combat surging infections

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World: PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne stated PAHO had expanded virus surveillance, vaccine procurement, and quantity of equipment to help nations in America’s battle the coronavirus pandemic.

“All nations should be on high alert: in this COVID-19 pandemic, complacency leads to more coronavirus cases,” Dr Etienne stated during her weekly media briefing. 


“We urge our Member States to strengthen surveillance and act at the first sign that cases are mounting. Don’t wait until you are confounded. The risks for your people and health policies are too much.”

In a very hopeful sign, “almost all of our Member States are rolling out vaccines,” she responded. “As of yesterday, 124 million people have got at least one dose of vaccines in the Americas, and more than 58 million have achieved their vaccination schedules. 

Haiti will shortly follow suit as the first consignment from COVAX arrives in the subsequent weeks,” she stated, mentioning to the global alliance to ensure equitable admittance to vaccines.

In these last 30 days, more than 2.5 million vaccine shots procured through COVAX have reached 17 nations due to an effort coordinated by PAHO’s Revolving Fund, the sanctioned procurement agent for COVAX, Dr Etienne published. This week, Belize, Bahamas, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago received their first consignments.

“But as we celebrate growth, we cannot close our eyes to the fact that vaccine stock continues to be our greatest challenge,” she stated. “A large part of this is because of setbacks in production as producers rush to scale up capacity. But we also see far too many instances of vaccine nationalism, which limits global availability even farther.”

“The contemporary system is hard-wired for inequity, and that is not satisfactory,” she recapitulated. “Vaccines should be possible to all who need them, notwithstanding of where they live.”

During the first 3 months of 2021, PAHO has struggled with the pandemic on two other fronts.

“We all have an accountability to perform in following the public health standards put in place to guard our communities,” she stated. “This is how we save lives. This is how we beat coronavirus.”

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