PAHO highlights increase in Trinidad and Tobago's covid19 deaths

Dr Carissa Etienne
Dr Carissa Etienne

THE Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday Trinidad and Tobago has reported the highest increase in deaths from covid19 in the region in recent days.

Dr Carissa Etienne, director of PAHO, said in a virtual press conference Cuba was the Caribbean country with the highest increase, and TT faces an "increase in mortality."

Etienne did not give figures for these two countries specifically, but said during the last week 1.1 million cases were reported throughout the region.

This week TT exceeded 900 deaths since the pandemic began, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

PAHO reported in North America the trend in covid19 cases continues to decline; in Central America there is an increase in Belize, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama; and in South America, in Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador there are also more recorded cases.

Etienne also said, "There has been progress in vaccination in the Americas with 600 million doses delivered, but not for all countries and this is concerning."

Etienne highlighted Chile and Uruguay, which have already vaccinated more than half of their populations.

The 24 million doses supplied by Covax in the Americas have already been used by the beneficiary countries, but it is still insufficient.

She said Jamaica and Haiti are having serious problems with their vaccination systems.

Dr Jarbas Barbosa, deputy director of PAHO, insisted on the importance of completing both vaccines doses and maintaining health measures despite immunisation.

Responding to a question from Newsday, Barbosa said people should take both doses in a six-eight week period even if they have tested positive for covid19 between the first and second shots.

"People must be well to go to the vaccination centre, without fever or symptoms of covid19," he added.

He clarified that even two vaccine doses do not give 100 per cent protection, and people must continue to use masks, handwashing, antibacterial agents and social distancing.

PAHO also extended its condolences to the family of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, who was killed in an attack on his residence early Wednesday morning.

"From PAHO we call on the population of Haiti to increase aid initiatives and begin vaccination as soon as possible. For this reason we continue to work with our affiliates in that country," said Etienne.


"PAHO highlights increase in Trinidad and Tobago’s covid19 deaths"

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