stluciatimes, caribbean, caribbeannews, stlucia, saintlucia, stlucianews, saintlucianews, stluciatimesnews, saintluciatimes, stlucianewsonline, saintlucianewsonline, st lucia news online, stlucia news online, loop news, loopnewsbarbados

PAHO Urges Countries To Continue COVID-19 Testing, Increase Vaccination


In an update on COVID-19 presented at the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference, the Director of Health Emergencies of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Ciro Ugarte, stated that “we are transitioning from an acute phase of the pandemic to more sustained control of the virus.”

Since the SARS-CoV-2 virus first appeared until the 17 September 2022, the Region of the Americas has reported more than 177 million cases and 2.8 million deaths, 29.1% and 43% of the global total respectively. In the last 14 days, cases increased by 0.7% and deaths by 0.3%.

Regarding the future of the pandemic, Ugarte said that the worst-case scenario, “particularly if we fail to ensure surveillance and increase vaccination coverage,” is one in which a more virulent and highly transmissible variant appears against which vaccines are less effective, thus prolonging the pandemic.

“We have been on a long journey these past 33 months,” Ugarte said, urging that the way forward requires resilient health systems and services based on primary care, strong epidemiological surveillance and the expansion of vaccination programs.

“The experience of COVID-19 showed us that countries need up-to-date emergency procedures, flexible public health measures and health networks that can rapidly deploy human resources and health supplies.”

During his presentation, Ugarte detailed the technical cooperation provided by PAHO and the achievements attained.

He also highlighted epidemiological intelligence as well as the strengthening and expansion of molecular detection in laboratories in the region, which have made it possible to track the virus and its variants, and to advise on policies to tackle it.

The Director of Health Emergencies at PAHO also highlighted the progress and challenges of vaccination in the Region. He said that almost 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the Americas, 150.8 million of which were delivered through PAHO’s Revolving Fund to 33 countries, many of them through donations.

While around 70% of people are fully vaccinated in Latin America and the Caribbean, Ugarte expressed concern that “averages hide the real situation in some countries where coverage remains low,” a factor that puts the region at risk of further waves as well as the appearance of new variants.

From its strategic reserve in Panama, PAHO has managed 227 shipments of health supplies to 35 countries and territories in the region, including diagnostic tests, personal protective equipment and medicines.

PAHO has also given workshops, formulated guidelines and carried out technical missions to strengthen countries’ response capacities at the first level of care, clinical management, rational use and sustainable use of oxygen, infection prevention and control, and risk communication, among others.

SOURCE: Pan American Health Organization

Any third-party or user posts, comments, replies, and third-party entries published on the St. Lucia Times website ( in no way convey the thoughts, sentiments or intents of St. Lucia Times, the author of any said article or post, the website, or the business. St. Lucia Times is not responsible or liable for, and does not endorse, any comments or replies posted by users and third parties, and especially the content therein and whether it is accurate. St. Lucia Times reserves the right to remove, screen, edit, or reinstate content posted by third parties on this website or any other online platform owned by St. Lucia Times (this includes the said user posts, comments, replies, and third-party entries) at our sole discretion for any reason or no reason, and without notice to you, or any user. For example, we may remove a comment or reply if we believe it violates any part of the St. Lucia Criminal Code, particularly section 313 which pertains to the offence of Libel. Except as required by law, we have no obligation to retain or provide you with copies of any content you as a user may post, or any other post or reply made by any third-party on this website or any other online platform owned by St. Lucia Times. All third-parties and users agree that this is a public forum, and we do not guarantee any confidentiality with respect to any content you as a user may post, or any other post or reply made by any third-party on this website. Any posts made and information disclosed by you is at your own risk.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Subscribe to our St. Lucia Times Newsletter

Get our headlines emailed to you every day.

Share via
Send this to a friend