The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, today called on all countries in the Americas to take urgent action to reorganize their health services and protect health professionals in order to safely care for patients with the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and save lives.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced today that the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be characterized as a pandemic.

In the last ten days, 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, in addition to the United States and Canada. Given the rapid arrival of COVID-19, the PAHO urged countries to focus on containing the virus, saving lives by ensuring that health workers are protected and that the sector is prepared to care for patients, and reducing transmission through multisectoral actions and measures.

Statement from Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, PAHO Director, on International Women’s Day 2020: When I was six years old, sitting on the porch one day with my favorite aunt, we saw our neighbor MaZee leaving her house for the hospital to give birth to her child...

Informing populations about the health risks posed by COVID-19, as well as measures they can take to protect themselves, is key to mitigating spread and reducing the likelihood that people will become infected. The first cases of this new coronavirus disease 2019 have already been registered in 8 countries of the Americas.