Caribbean falling behind in COVID fight, PAHO warns

      Caribbean falling behind in  COVID fight, PAHO warns

People wait to receive an AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine during a vaccination campaign for homeless people, in Rio de Janeiro’s downtown, in Brazil, on May 27, 2021. File photo Reuters/Ricardo Moraes.


MEXICO CITY, Mexico--The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned on Wednesday that the Caribbean was falling behind in its effort to fight COVID-19 as only 63 per cent of its eligible population was vaccinated and large regional discrepancies persist.

  Out of 13 countries and territories in the Americas that have not yet reached the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) goal of 40 per cent coverage, 10 are in the Caribbean, PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said.

  The region registered 2.2 million new COVID cases last week, down 28 per cent compared with the previous week.

  “And, after six consecutive weeks of increases, we saw deaths fall for the first time since the beginning of the Omicron wave, to 29,000 new deaths reported in our region, a drop of nine per cent,” Etienne said in prepared remarks.

  She cautioned that while cases and deaths are dropping, the improvements have not been uniform across all the countries and territories in the region.

  “Many places are still in the midst of the Omicron surge, so we must stay vigilant and uphold the measures proven to save lives,” said Etienne. ~ Reuters ~

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