Covid Cases Rise in Some Caribbean Islands, W.H.O. Says


Bucking the development in a lot of the Americas, a number of Caribbean international locations are reporting vital surges in identified coronavirus infections, World Health Organization officers warned on Wednesday.

New instances reported are up 40 p.c over the past week in the Dominican Republic and Barbados, mentioned Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, the director of the Pan American Health Organization, a division of the W.H.O.

“In fact,” Dr. Etienne mentioned at a news conference, “half of Barbados’s cumulative Covid infections since the pandemic began have been reported in the last month.”

New instances are additionally rising in Trinidad and Tobago and a few smaller island nations and territories in the area, together with St. Martin, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla and the Cayman Islands.

Many Caribbean international locations have had issue moving quickly with vaccination efforts, each due to issue acquiring doses and due to widespread public hesitancy.

“It really troubles me that some of my Caribbean brothers and sisters have been slow to accept the Covid-19 vaccines that have been made available to them,” mentioned Dr. Etienne, who’s from Dominica.

Across Latin America and the Caribbean, 41 p.c of the inhabitants has been totally vaccinated towards Covid-19, in response to the P.A.H.O.

New case studies are declining throughout North America, and infections and deaths are declining in most of Central America. The image can be enhancing in South America, except for Bolivia and Venezuela, the group mentioned.

Dr. Etienne mentioned it was essential for international locations in the area to construct up testing whilst studies of latest instances ebb, in order that any recent outbreaks may be caught earlier than they grow to be widespread surges. “More and more, we’re seeing how local hot spots are driving national trends,” she mentioned.

A very good strategy, she mentioned, could be to combine surveillance for Covid-19 with monitoring of different respiratory viruses. She mentioned her group was working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States to develop a brand new protocol for PCR testing that will display the identical samples for each Covid-19 and influenza.

Strong surveillance networks, she mentioned, might additionally assist detect rising pathogens earlier than they unfold, and serve “as the region’s backbone for pandemic preparedness.”

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