LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN: COVID-19
Source: PAHO/WHO - https://bit.ly/2O25YQw
656.2K NEW COVID-19 CASES IN LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN FROM 1-7 FEBRUARY 2021
35.3M VACCINES TO BE DELIVERED TO LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN THROUGH COVAX
According to PAHO, the COVAX global COVID-19 vaccine sharing mechanism is set to deliver 35.3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to 36 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean from mid-February through the end of June. Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador and Peru will also receive nearly 378,000 doses of the Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccine starting in mid- February, as well. PAHO adds that the Americas region needs to immunize some 500 million people to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control.
Mexico closed out January, the pandemic’s worst month so far with more than 438,000 new cases and more than 32,700 deaths, administering as many as 670,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses. Per the Ministry of Health, 631,400 doses were administered as the first of two doses, while 41,800 doses were administered as the second dose, indicating that only 6.6 per cent of those who received the first dose have the full protection of both shots. Health officials acknowledge that Mexico will likely not be able to administer all of the required second shots within 21 days of the first shot.
Peru, currently dealing with a severe second wave of infections and deaths, closed out January 2021 with 3,346 COVID-19 deaths, the highest monthly death toll in four months. The January total yields a daily average of 108 deaths, nearly double the daily average reported in December 2020.
The rise in deaths follows a corresponding increase in positive testing rates, with January seeing Peru’s record high of 24 per cent positive testing during the week from 17 to 23 January. Official data also shows an average of 4,000 new cases in January. Intensive care unit (ICU) availability is almost at its limit; January saw 1,864 ICU beds used over COVID-19, 21 per cent more than the peak number of beds used during the first wave of infections. General hospital bed occupancy grew by 48 per cent as well.
The Government announced that Barbados received a commitment from India for 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The first batch will target 50,000 frontline workers, including doctors, nurses, staff at medical facilities and other essential service staff such as police and hotel and supermarket workers. The targeted group would include the island’s elderly and most vulnerable populations, with authorities already tasking hospital and health officials to identify those with multiple co- morbidities. The Government’s COVID Communications Unit will support the vaccination process with public education and sensitization on vaccines in the coming weeks.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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