La Romana (Dominican Republic), Dec 1 (EFE).- Former Dominican President Leonel Fernandez said that Latin America missed the opportunity to unite against the Covid-19 pandemic and the crisis it has generated.
Latin America “must return to the idea of integration” to face the uncertainty resulting from the pandemic and to “have a single voice at a global level,” Fernandez defended in an interview with Efe, in which he regretted that currently “the opposite is happening, everything is very fragmented.”
“Faced with a global problem there must be a global response. But if each country begins to negotiate, bilaterally or multilaterally, little will be achieved and, in fact, we have lost a great opportunity to have responded as a region” to Covid-19 “instead of doing it individually.”
The global strategy in health “has been the search for a vaccine,” but now we are facing “a battle of speed” between the vaccination process and the mutations that generate new variants” of the virus, such as Omicron.
Fernandez referred to the “gap” between countries “that can be vaccinated and those that cannot,” and pointed to the situation in Africa, which “is entering a second stage of infection” with the mutation that has given rise to the Omicron variant.
There “few people are vaccinated,” especially in sub-Saharan Africa, which “represents a threat to contain the spread of the virus on a global scale,” he said.
In this regard, “Latin America has been doing better,” he said, but the region still has 33 percent of Covid-19 deaths.
Of the five million deaths, one and a half million were in Latin America, so “there is a lot to be done” with regards to health.
“There is a process of economic reactivation. We are moving forward in that direction, the world is beginning to wake up, however, uncertainty persists,” heightened by the appearance of the new variant “which we do not really know what effects it may have,” Fernández said.
“It is being discussed whether it has a higher level of transmissibility, a higher propagation rate. We do not know,” he said, so its appearance “generates fear, anguish, anxiety, and the truth is that scientists still do not know” what repercussions it will have.