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COVID-19 in the Americas: PAHO urges “strong and steady course”

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Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2020. 5:51 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reports that around 100 thousand daily in the Americas continue to test positive for COVID-19, with the total case count in the region approaching 19 million and deaths now past 610 thousand as of Tuesday, October 20.

Director Dr. Carissa Etienne on Wednesday urged “a strong and steady course to continue fighting the virus” while the region awaits a vaccine.

The trends show a plateau of cases in Central America; a scattering of cases in the Caribbean related to non-essential international travel, and rising numbers in the United States and Canada, Dr. Etienne said.

She urged all countries to “prioritize a transparent and proactive communications approach for COVID-19. The people of our region crave clear guidance. Communicating effectively and consistently about what they can do to protect themselves and avoid infection remains vital.”

Etienne added that “Testing, treating and isolating cases, as well as tracing contacts are all part of a good surveillance strategy and too few countries are doing this well in our region. It is as important now as it was in April. And it will be even more important once we have a vaccine.”

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