Haiti fighting COVID-19 spike, still hasn’t received any vaccines

Haitian hospital treating COVID-19 cases have been swamped with new infections to the point where they are reportedly turning away patients.

Over the past month, Haiti has been experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, recording 2,271 cases and 62 deaths. Experts say this is the largest spike since the virus landed.

In response to this, the government declared a health emergency on May 24 and imposed a curfew and safety measures. It also announced plans to open another hospital to treat the infected, however that has been delayed.

The Associated Press reports that a lot of Haitians are not following the protocols under the new measures. According to the news service, most shun, or can’t afford face masks and it’s nearly impossible to keep a distance while shopping in bustling marketplaces or riding the crowded, colourful buses known as tap taps that most Haitians rely on to get around.

“There is no time to waste,” said Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, which is working with the government to scale up testing to identify and isolate infected people — a difficult task in a place where few think they can afford to be sick.

Haiti has recorded a total of 15,700 cases and more than 330 deaths since early last year.