Director of the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO, Dr Carissa Etienne’s calling for accelerated and expanded testing for COVID-19 in countries of the Americas. 

Speaking at a virtual media briefing, Dr. Etienne says, the pandemic continues to impact the region. 

She says it’s vital for all countries to actively embrace preventive measures, while preparing for more cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

As of April 20, there’ve been 839- thousand, 1-hundred and 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 42- thousand, 6-hundred and 86 people have died in the Americas.

The PAHO Director says countries have been prepared to test and detect cases of COVID-19 well before the pandemic was declared. 

Since February, PAHO had trained and equipped laboratories for PCR testing in more than 30 countries. 

But, Dr Etienne notes that as cases have increased, countries have found it increasingly difficult to keep up.

Dr Carissa Etienne, Director of PAHO.