The Pan American Health Organization He warned that 2021 may be much worse than 2020 if public health measures against COVID-19 are relaxed as vaccines will not be massively available until at least the second half of the year.
Only six countries in the region (Canada, United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile and Argentina) have begun to vaccinate thanks to the bilateral agreements they have made with the producers. They all still have very limited amounts of the vaccine. The country with the highest proportion of vaccinated population is the United States, which exceeds 3%, which roughly corresponds to health workers. The rest of the countries have vaccinated less than 1% of their population.
The COVAX initiative will not begin distributing vaccines until March, in very limited quantities. In the second half of the year, most of the 2 billion doses guaranteed by 2021 will arrive.
PAHO Director Carisse Etienne said that as long as the number of vaccines remains small, they cannot be relied on to flatten the curve. “If we continue to be diligent, we have the power to control this virus, but if we relax, make no mistake, 2021 can be much worse than 2020 ”, explained.
The Pan American Health Organization also reported that the SARS-COV-2 variant detected in the United Kingdom is already in eight countries in the region: Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru and the United States. Furthermore, the variant identified in South Africa has been found in Brazil and Canada. Although there is currently no evidence that it causes more serious disease, these variants do have the potential to collapse hospitals with more patients.
UNICEF / Tomislav Georgiev
Homeworkers, whose numbers have risen substantially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, earn less money than those who work outside the home and are more at risk. A report from the International Labor Organization ask for more protection for them.
According to ILO estimates, before the COVID-19 crisis, there were around 260 million people who worked from home, which is 7, 9% of world employment. 56% of those workers (147 million) were women.
In low- and middle-income countries, 90% of these people carry out their work informally.
These workers are often less well paid than those who work outside the home, even in more skilled professions. On average, they earn 13% less in the UK; 22% less in the United States; 25% less in South Africa and around 50% in Argentina, India and Mexico.
Teleworkers face higher health and safety risks and have less access to training programs, which can adversely affect their career paths.
UNICEF denounces the “extreme gravity” of hundreds of children still without electricity in Madrid
In Madrid, in Spain, about 1800 children are still without electricity in their homes despite the fact that the region experiences a storm with freezing temperatures and historical snowfalls. UNICEF calls for “immediate solutions” for a situation “of extreme gravity.”
The agency assures that the extreme conditions that children endure are putting “their health at serious risk” and urges to give a quick response to the situation to avoid “having to regret fatal consequences”
La Cañada Real is an informal settlement in the community of Madrid that It has been without electricity for more than two months.
The organization recalls that the special rapporteur on poverty and human rights also requested a solution and that the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has urged the Government to adopt the necessary measures to ensure adequate care and accommodation for a girl whose health has been seriously affected.
© FAO / Gustave Ntaraka
FAO believes that it is possible to eradicate Peste des petits ruminants, a pest that affects sheep and goats, by 2030.
This sickness kills between 30 and 70% of infected animals, but it does not infect people. However, it has serious repercussions on the food and livelihoods of up to 300 million people who depend on these types of livestock.
Vaccination campaigns in more than 50 countries have managed to significantly reduce the incidence. In 2019, there were 1,200 outbreaks, up from 3,500 in 2015.
FAO and its partners vaccinated more than 300 million goats and sheep between 2015 and 2018 and call for financial commitments to continue to vaccinate and eradicate the disease be maintained.