PAHO requests that the COVID-19 tests in the Americas be accelerated and expanded

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on Tuesday asked the countries of the American continent to accelerate and expand tests for the coronavirus to obtain a more accurate understanding of the pandemic.

"There is an urgent need for countries to accelerate and expand testing for a more accurate understanding of the pandemic in the Americas," PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said at a telematic news conference.

Etienne stressed the importance of having access to rapid tests of quality and in sufficient quantities to be able to face the coronavirus, which, according to the organism's data, has already left 610,744 confirmed cases and 23,753 deaths on the American continent.

In this sense, the deputy director of the PAHO Health Emergencies Department and incident manager for COVID-19, Sylvain Aldighieri, explained that since the end of January the organization has distributed more than 500,000 tests to 36 countries in the region and that Next week they will add 1.5 million more that they plan to send.

In addition, the agency aims to distribute another 3 million tests before the end of April.

Etienne recalled that it is also necessary that the American countries expand the number of beds in the Intensive Care Units (ICU) in the short term and that they be organized in time so that medicines and vaccines are accessible on the continent.

In line with this, the PAHO Deputy Director, Jarbas Barbosa, recognized that the pandemic can be a great challenge for those countries with fewer resources that have few ICU beds and mechanical ventilators, for whom he believes that it is even more important to take social distancing measures to reduce rapid virus transmission.

On the other hand, Barbosa called for greater international solidarity to increase access to personal protective health supplies for countries on the continent with fewer resources and less strong health systems.

The number of global cases of COVID-19 confirmed this Tuesday by the World Health Organization (WHO) amounts to 1.84 million, after registering 70,000 new infections in the last 24 hours, while the number of deaths amounts to 117,021.

Europe remains the most affected region, with more than 943,000 infections, followed by America, with almost 645,000, while Africa, the area with the fewest cases so far, surpassed the 10,000 barrier on Monday.


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