They acknowledge a drop of more than 20% in deaths and infections

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in the voice of Carissa Etienne, director, warned that Ómicron, a new variant of the coronavirus, will soon circulate in other countries of the Americas region, after the detection of cases in Canada and Brazil.

“For now, Delta remains the predominant variant in the Americas. Canada and Brazil are the only countries in the region where Omicron has been detected, but surely other countries will start to see this new variant in circulation soon. “

After the weekly PAHO press videoconference, this time to report not only on the situation of Covid-19 on the continent, but especially on the Omicron variant, designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern, it was confirmed that it is already circulating in the US as well.

He reported that, in North America, Covid-19 cases in Canada and the US remain stable, but high, while in Mexico infections and deaths have been reduced by more than 20 percent.

Etienne recommended that the countries of the region “duplicate their surveillance efforts, share sequences with the regional genomic surveillance network of the Americas, and report all cases of Ómicron to the WHO.”

And he urged people “not to panic”, but to get vaccinated to protect themselves and reduce the risk of exposure to the virus, as well as to wear masks, maintain social distance, wash hands frequently and avoid crowded and closed places.

“These measures are efficient against all the variants, among these Ómicron. The countries must maintain public health measures to limit the spread of the virus and modify the measures according to the risks of local contagion, “he said.

Until yesterday, he reported, in Latin America and the Caribbean only 50% of people have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, so the region remains especially vulnerable.

Jarbas Barbosa, deputy director of PAHO, said that to date there is no evidence that existing vaccines do not work against the Omicron variant, so the recommendation is to continue vaccinating.

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