EFELa Romana, Dominican Republic

Experts insist on the need to vaccinate everyone on the planet against Covid-19, a point that was reiterated on Tuesday at the Global Forum @ Casa de Campo during an analysis of the uncertainty that in both health and economic terms the disease has generated globally.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, intervened in the forum virtually to list the damages that the coronavirus has caused around the world.

"The pandemic is a powerful demonstration that when health is at risk, everything is at risk," the director general said while stressing the need to rely on the vaccine.

Also appearing virtually was the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the United States, Anthony Fauci, main medical adviser to US President Joe Biden.

Like Tedros, he highlighted the efficacy of vaccines to win the battle against covid, highlighting the importance of universal health coverage and primary care.

The need to urgently vaccinate the entire population was part of the speech by Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, who also spoke online.

For years, Osterholm has warned about the serious threats that loom over humanity in terms of health, and called for a greater effort to prevent new variables of the coronavirus.

"The virus is not going to fizzle out," he said, noting that much information about the pandemic is lacking and called for "a more open mind" in this regard (...) "We have to accept the fact that we are in a race" against the spread of the disease, he said.

The meeting, organized by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development together with the Federation of Publishers Guilds of Spain, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and the Scenarios Corporation.

Latin America and the Caribbean region has been hit hardest by the pandemic, with 45.7 million people infected and 1.5 million deaths, causing a disproportionate impact on the developing region that has continued throughout the pandemic.

The disease has exacerbated the problems of low investment, productivity, unemployment, inequality and poverty and, according to data from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the social crisis shows no signs of recovery.

In fact, despite economic recovery, poverty and extreme poverty are likely to remain at high levels or increase in 2021 compared to 2019.

The number of people in extreme poverty is expected to reach 78 million (8 million more than in 2019) and the number of people in poverty would reach 209 million (22 million more than the previous year).

In Latin America, an economic slowdown is expected in 2022, in a context of deepening structural problems in the region after the strong rebound in growth supported by consumption in 2021.

Former Dominican President Leonel Fernandez, promoter of the gathering, and Dominican Vice President Raquel Peña also spoke at the forum. EFE

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