Pan American Health Organization Response to COVID-19 in the Americas. January–December 2020
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This publication updates earlier versions on the response by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to the COVID-19 pandemic, which were published in June and September 2020. It documents PAHO’s efforts from the earliest days of the pandemic, when PAHO rapidly mobilized its experts, shipped needed laboratory supplies for molecular detection of the virus, and acted rapidly to prepare national laboratories in the Region of the Americas to test for COVID-19. This groundwork has been essential to prepare the Americas for new circumstances, such as genomic surveillance for new variants of concern. Early in 2020, PAHO played a critical role in procuring personal protective equipment to support national efforts to combat COVID-19. Since then, and with global efforts to find a safe and effective vaccine proving successful, PAHO has shifted much of its focus to its work with countries on developing national plans for the arrival and distribution of vaccines. The publication presents an updated picture of the epidemiological situation in the Americas and the impact of the spread of the virus on health systems in Latin America and the Caribbean. It includes selected highlights of PAHO’s work in the countries and territories, and presents epidemiological data for the first quarter of 2021. PAHO has developed, published, and disseminated evidence-based technical documents to help guide countries’ strategies and policies to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. It has collaborated with partners in the Region and across the globe to deliver technical cooperation, evidence-based guidance, and recommendations, and to advocate for the Americas on the global stage.
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