Thursday, September 29, 2022

PAHO Urges Protection Of Health Workers Amid COVID-19 Surge In The Americas

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Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Dr. Carissa Etienne has called for the protection of health workers as COVID-19 infections surge in the Americas.

At the same time, at least 42 countries and territories in the region have reported detection of the Omicron Variant.

The PAHO Director called on countries to ensure health workers have access to protective equipment and additional COVID-19 vaccine doses where available.

“We must make sure they are protected from the worst consequences of this virus,” Etienne told a news briefing this week.

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Over the past week, countries in the Americas reported 6.1 million new cases of COVID-19 – a 250% increase from the same period last year.

According to PAHO, thanks to increased vaccination in the region, the COVID-19 death rate remains stable. Still, the hike in emergency room visits and hospitalisations has left many health systems struggling to cope.

The PAHO Director highlighted that an additional vaccination dose would “help reinforce health workers’ ability to withstand exposure to the virus,” particularly in light of rising infections.

While Delta continues to cause new COVID cases in the Americas, Omicron is on track to becoming the dominant strain, spreading more quickly than other detected variants, particularly in enclosed spaces, PAHO notes.

While reports suggest that it may cause less severe symptoms, Dr. Etienne warned that “this new wave of infections won’t be “mild” for our health systems, as the Omicron variant is already challenging our health workforce and limiting care for other diseases.”

“In smaller island states, some hospitals were already strained by cases of the Delta variant, and now more hospitals face the prospect of being overwhelmed with cases,” she added.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


  1. Unless the countries put protocols in place to restrict movement for a fixed period of time — such as 2 to 3 weeks, we should stop talking about safeguarding healthcare workers! The healthcare workers are forced to pick up the dirty pieces that are the fallouts of the people freely intermingling as if Omicron isn’t far more communicable that all the previous variants. Leaders are fooling themselves and the people to think Omicron will simply go away if they look the other way and ignore the toll it is taking on the population with the present approach! Close all schools, churches, banks, rum bars, clubs, etc., for a two week period so that we can get to a plateau and start the decline in Covid cases and low Positivity Rate that we need for business to start thriving again! Saint Lucian leaders don’t seem to understand that a Positivity Rate of over 50% — as we are currentloy experiencing — is recipe for collapse of lives and livelihood! Is there not a wise person in Government here in a nation that produced two distinguished Nobel Laureates??

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