April 30, 2020
Ottawa, Canada. – Considering the epidemiological situation caused by the development of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the region of Latin America and the world, the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Canada organized a virtual discussion entitled COVID-19 in the Americas: current situation, progress and challenges.
The Conversation chaired by Mr. Pedro Vergés, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Canada, had the participation of Dr. Adrián Puello, Vice Minister of Collective Health of the Ministry of Public Health of the Dominican Republic, representing the Minister of Public Health, and had as the main speaker Dr. Marcos Espinal, Director of the Department of Communicable Diseases of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), who is one of the official spokespersons for Executive Director Dr. Carissa Etiene, on the subject of COVID-19 (Coranavirus). The Minister Counselor Erika Alvarez served as the moderator.
Virtual participants included Dr. Alba María Antonia Cabral, Vice Minister of Bilateral Foreign Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic; Mrs. Albanela Pérez Suárez, Senior Desk Officer for the Central America, Cuba and the Dominican Republic Division of Global Affairs Canada, as well as the heads of missions and diplomatic officials of the embassies of Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala , El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Paraguay. The seminar had an audience consisting of officials from the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dominican diplomats accredited in Washington and Uruguay, and staff from the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Canada.
During his presentation, Dr. Espinal presented a regional overview of the evolution and impact of the pandemic, the measures recommended by PAHO in order to prepare the conditions and avoid the continued spread and contagion. He also indicated that so far there are eight vaccines under clinical evaluation, three of which are in phase II of the procedure. He listed the main challenges presented by many of the affected countries, among which he cited: increasing the number of screening tests, finding a balance between economy and health, care of patients with other diseases, easing of current measures, increasing the budget that governments designate for the health sector, the development of continuing education programs at the social level, and resuming economic and social activities in stages.
Participants had the opportunity to interact with Dr. Espinal on the prevention measures and effects of the pandemic in their respective countries, while also praising the initiative carried out by the Embassy for the organization of the event and the expertise of the main speaker.