The World Health Organization (WHO)’s US office, PAHO, issued an emergency call on Wednesday to intensify the fight against Govt-19 in Haiti, with a “sharp increase” in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
“I am particularly concerned about the situation in Haiti,” Karisa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAO), told a news conference, emphasizing the growing support for the Caribbean nation.
“The resources of the international community to urgently expand the maintenance of Govt-19 severe events in Haiti are increasing,” he said.
This includes fitting new spaces for dealing with patients and providing personal protective equipment and oxygen.
“The country needs extra health care, as well as support to take the necessary preventive measures to stop the spread. Both will be decisive in the coming weeks. There is no time to lose,” Etienne stressed.
In Haiti, the poorest country in the United States, more than 14,700 infections and 319 deaths have been attributed to Govt-19 since the outbreak began in March 2020. In the past week, 54% of cases and deaths, 69%, are according to PAHO data. This is in the midst of a wave of crime, including kidnapping by street gangs and a series of natural disasters. On Tuesday, Haitian President Jovnell Moyes extended the May 24 health emergency by 15 days due to an increase in infections and the detection of alpha and gamma strains (identified in December 2020 in Brazil and Brazil, respectively).
This extension renewed the curfew order in the country from 10:00 pm to 05:00 am and made the use of masks mandatory in all public places. The measure, which has been in place since May 2020, is still respected only by the minority Haitians, despite the high turnout on public transport and markets.
“Two types have already been identified in the country, while the general public often neglects the necessary public health measures to stop the spread. These two factors together drive the exchange,” Etienne said.
He also stressed the importance of starting the anticoagulant vaccine “as soon as possible”.
With a population of 11.3 million, Haiti is one of ten countries in the world that have not yet launched its vaccination campaign.
Etienne said after realizing that the Haitian government had “promoted” the adoption of the Astrogenic vaccine, saying “vaccinating all leading health workers is a top priority.”
The Ministry of Health has announced that the Astrogeneca vaccine will be available in 130,000 doses “in late June or early July”.