There is “real danger” of Haiti experiencing a “large-scale” coronavirus outbreak, says PAHO

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The director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa Etienne, has warned on Tuesday that there is a “real danger” of an outbreak “large-scale” of coronavirus in Haiti, which would be followed by a humanitarian crisis .

Etienne, who has specified that, so far, only one hundred cases and eleven deaths due to Covid-19 have been confirmed in Haiti, has highlighted that a third of infections are locally transmitted, so the probability that it will continue the spread is “extremely high”.

“17,000 Haitians have already returned from the Dominican Republic, where there is community transmission and this number is expected to reach 55,000 in two or three weeks,” he said.

In this sense, the director of PAHO has regretted that there is not “sufficient” awareness in the communities about the threat posed by the coronavirus, while stressing that “it is extremely difficult to establish the appropriate social distancing” in the Caribbean nation .

“Most Haitians do not have access to clean water and sanitation, and many live in crowded homes where quarantine and isolation are challenging,” he said. In addition, “there is a risk that increasing food insecurity will cause famine,” he added.

To these factors, it is necessary to add the country’s political situation, civil unrest or the limitations of a health system that offers few beds for the treatment of patients with coronavirus, has an insufficient number of health professionals and an inadequate number of medical teams. protection.

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