The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said Wednesday that Covid-19 diagnostic tests for travelers have a « limited impact » to control the spread of the virus, and called on countries to limit the movement of people with symptoms or exposure. recent.

PAHO Director Carissa Etienne highlighted at a press conference that « When people travel between countries, so does the virus », and said that the increase in cases in the Caribbean as tourism resumes leaves « an important lesson. »

« We are seeing that many places within and outside our region apply travel measures that have a limited impact, » said the head of PAHO, the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO).

« I want to emphasize that relying on laboratory tests for travelers is expensive, difficult to implement and of limited impact in controlling the international spread of the virus, » he said.

Etienne insisted on the need for the authorities to ensure that people sick with Covid-19, or suspected of being, are quickly identified and isolated and their contacts traced, in order to minimize the chances of contagion.

“All countries should work collectively to limit travel for those with active symptoms or recently exposed”, he emphasized.

The American continent is the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic that emerged in China in December.

« Last week, the Americas reached two grim milestones: more than half a million deaths and almost 15 million cases were reported in our region, » Etienne said.

He added that in the Caribbean, countries like Jamaica, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic have experienced « drastic spikes » in cases in some areas.