Increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalization related to circulation of Delta variant in Eastern Caribbean Countries


The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Office for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Countries is advising the public and health authorities to continue to take appropriate and urgent public health and social measures (PHSM) to safeguard lives due to an increase in cases and hospitalization related to circulation of SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (VOC) Delta in the Eastern Caribbean.

It is observed and reported from several countries the emergence of VOC Delta including from Member States in the Americas with high vaccination coverage.

With the VOC Delta exhorts the importance of the preparatory process for the expansion of care capacity in the face of the potential increase in Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and death.

In June and July 2021, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Saint Kitt and Nevis, Virgin Islands-UK, Anguilla, Grenada, Dominica, Monserrat including Barbados have shown a steady increase and surge.

It is necessary to maximize efforts to extend full Covid-19 vaccination coverage, especially in high-risks population, health and care workers, as well as to reinforce non-pharmacological prevention and protection measures, such as physical distancing, the use of individual face masks, the use of antiseptic solutions (i.e., soap and water, alcohol-gel, and liquid alcohol in disinfectant concentration, etc.). These measures continue to be effective in reducing transmission of this and all variants.

The capacity of mobilization of specialized care does not only go through the purchase of equipment, it is also necessary to remember the mobilization or remobilization of teams of health professionals who are trained, and that the services pay attention to the establishment of logistics, flow, use of technologies for provision of care, in addition to the purchase, supply, and monitoring of the use of personal protection equipment, stocks of medicines, medications used in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), and hospital oxygen.

Moreover, the processes of preventive maintenance and repair of equipment and the management of hospital waste must be implemented.

“As unvaccinated adults constitute a large percentage (95%) of the Covid-19 case load in each country, vaccination coverage in those persons and families affected by the outbreak have been below optimal,” said Dr. Yitades Gebre, PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Countries.

PAHO seeks to warn the public as unvaccinated persons are the main source of infection to the larger community, individuals if offered to be vaccinated to take up the offer and get vaccinated.

Unvaccinated health and care workers to be vaccinated without any further delay to protect themselves and the community they are serving.

The decision to introduce, adapt or lift PHSM should be based primarily on a situational assessment of the intensity of transmission and the capacity of the health system to respond, but must also be considered in light of the effects these measures may have on the general welfare of society and individuals.

Public health and social measures continue to work against the variant and that the vaccines are safe and effective against severe illness and death.

PAHO will continue to provide Covid-19 test kits, personal protective devices, medicines, and personnel to support laboratory and surveillance services to identify new infections in each country. We strongly advise that collective action is required to prevent the loss of lives and livelihood. PAHO also thank countries who are recently sharing vaccine doses to Eastern Caribbean Countries and Barbados by ensuring equal access to Covid-19 vaccines.

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  1. A message from the vaccinated to the unvaccinated: I think we can agree that we want people to be both healthy and free from coercion. This virus is sort of pitting those values against each other, and I’m coming down more strongly on the side of health, and you appear to value freedom more. But I hear your concerns about your health as well. And actually, I’m in favor of vaccination because I think it will give us all more freedom.
    We all want to move forward from this as quickly as possible. There are 2 paths to choose from: one that follows fear and propaganda, heading towards nowhere. The other path follows doctors, scientists and leaders who are doing their best to make our world safe and free again. The path may not be perfect, but I believe its the only way towards resolution and change. If you can’t trust educated doctors, scientists and actual data, who are you putting your faith into? The people who bark the loudest? Do they really have the answers you are seeking?

  2. SMH… How can the unvax be spreading it this more than the vax, is it not the vax holding the weapon. This don’t make no sense, it’s like tell me go get a banana but all truth you want an orange. These people think they are God.

    • Its easier for the unvaccinated to catch the virus. They are more likely to pass the virus onto other people. They are more likely to end up with severe symptoms, in the hospital and die from the virus. Yes, the vaccinated can still catch the new variants, but the chance of passing the virus onto another vaccinated person is extremely low. They are less likely to have severe symptoms, and the death rate is extremely low. Of the people who are hospitalized with infections, 1% are vaccinated and 99% are unvaccinated.

      • Where did you get your information, from the people pushing vaccines for financial gains? Consider this, if it is the vaccinated shedding the virus and the virus injected in their bodies are causing mutations, do you think they would want us to know the truth? No. Because the unvaccinated would refuse to be vaccinated.
        Before we become messengers, we should know the source of the message.

        • You’re asking me to consider a conspiracy theory created from your imagination. There is no proof of what you suggest, and in fact most of the vaccines do not carry a live virus. Before considering vaccine information on the Internet, check that the information comes from a credible source and is updated on a regular basis. Is the web content researched, written and approved by experts, including physicians, researchers, epidemiologists, and analysts? Is the content based on peer-reviewed science? Same with the news outlets you follow. Are they credible?

          • I am only asking the questions. Are you aware how many of these experts you mentioned are paid consultants of the pharmaceutical companies? Do these experts really know what they are talking about? Now we are being told that the efficacy of some of these vaccines is good for six months and a booster shot will be required. Are we going to need a booster shot every year? We can still get infected after vaccination. This begs the question, are these really vaccines?

  3. Sometimes me think Antigua & Barbuda have dethroned the Virgin Islands as the major United States Colony in the Caribbean. Many thanks to the introduction of Cable news by the Birds. Truth is, America is disintegrating and not a real model for the Caribbean Islands to follow.

    Whether the people retain the ALP or give UPP the job in the next election, one thing is certain is that economics and health has to SYNC. I’m a healthcare professional and medicine is not 100% exact science. There’s always a small percentage that medical journals can’t explain.

    I see covid nightly at work unless one wants to call it by another name. There’s something currently than before the vaccines. The population that’s getting real sick are very young, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50, 60s plus. The major part of their history is that they’re all UNVACCINATED.

    These bad boys and girls are coming into the Emergency Room can’t breathe and requiring large percentage of oxygen to keep them off Life Support. Many are wimping and scared like hell. This is no jokes folks. Antigua do not have the resources. Try and manage covid at home when it strikes.

    I don’t like the many brands of vaccines in Antigua and Barbuda. The roll out was bad cuz Gaston, Harold and all constituency representatives should have done so in public to help public confidence. Like I said before, health and economics has to SYNC in managing covid which is real. I pray Antigua and Barbuda can figure things out.

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