Although COVID cases and deaths have decreased in much of the region, countries are reporting more than 620,000 new cases each week. And in parts of North America and the Caribbean, where Omicron is becoming the predominant variant, new infections are starting to rise.

With Ómicron BA.2 already detected in 8.7% of reported sequences in South America, “time and time again, we have seen how the dynamics of infection in Europe are reflected here just a few weeks later,” said the Director in a press conference and remarked “We cannot ignore the risk of new spikes in COVID-19, but now we know what needs to be done to protect our population”.

Likewise, the director of PAHO also urged the countries to maintain the capacity to carry out tests “so that we do not enter this next wave blindly” and have the complete panorama of Ómicron BA.2 in the region.

While more than 685 million people in the region have completed their COVID vaccination schedules, and 50 countries and territories have already started giving booster doses, we must now “redouble our efforts to ensure that our vulnerable populations receive the correct doses.” they need,” Dr. Etienne said.

Dr. Etienne also warned that some countries and territories have scaled back public health measures ahead of time, stressing that data “is our eyes and ears in this pandemic.” “As before, we must adjust our strategies when cases increase, to save lives.”

At a time when countries will mark World Health Day on April 7 under the theme “Our planet, our health,” Dr. Etienne also highlighted the urgent need for countries to work together towards a brighter future. healthy and sustainable.

On the other hand, health systems are also under threat, as many hospitals were built in places vulnerable to floods, hurricanes, landslides and other extreme events.