Latin America tries to remain calm in the face of omicron speed

Cases of COVID-19 continue to increase rapidly throughout Latin America, with some countries administering third and even fourth doses to the population.

In Mexico, the President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, made his usual “morning” conference from home, after having tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time.

Speaking in a remarkably hoarse voice, the president insisted that with the omicron variant there would be less hospitalizations and less loss of life.

Despite the president’s calm tone, Mexico exceeded 300,000 deaths for coronavirus confirmed by tests last week, but so little testing is done that a government review of death certificates puts the true figure at nearly 460,000.

In order to meet the high demand for rapid antigen detection tests, the authorities of the Mexico City installed 11 macro-kiosks in 10 municipalities of the capital, providing around 10,000 free tests daily.

Back to the crisis

In Peru, hospital beds and Intensive Care Units (ICU) have filled up again. Hospital Alberto Sabogal of EsSalud, in the Lima district of Callao, is full, and COVID-19 patients on ventilators occupy most of the beds.

“The unvaccinated now represent more than 50% of the beds in use (in the hospital)… the vaccinated occupy the other half but their symptoms are much less severe, their illness much milder”, He said Dr. Mirko Conde, hospital internist.

Former Minister of Health Patricia García, confirmed that cases are now at their highest peak, even higher than during the first and second waves.

“Vaccines are safe. Millions of people are being vaccinated and the proof is that, in this wave, those who require hospitalization or more serious treatment are the unvaccinated.”

With 66% of the population vaccinated, Peru is among the countries with the highest mortality from the virus, with more than 200,000 deaths Y 2.3 million confirmed cases, according to official figures.

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