The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Dr Carissa F Etienne has called on all countries in the Americas to take urgent action to reorganize their health services and protect health professionals.
This, she said, is in order to safely care for patients with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and save lives.
“The message is clear—now is the time for countries to increase their capacity to detect cases, care for patients, and ensure that hospitals have the space, supplies and staff they need to provide the necessary care,” Etienne said during her weekly teleconference with the region’s health ministers on Wednesday (March 18).
She urged health leaders to involve citizens and other sectors in support of public health action. “If everyone collaborates, it is not too late to contain the situation, flatten the epidemic curve and thereby avoid overloading the health services so that they can give the necessary care to all who need it.”
As at Wednesday (March 18)—in the Region of the Americas—37 countries and territories reported 5,944 cases and 19 deaths, according to PAHO.