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Second wave of COVID, health in Ecuador, Brazil … Wednesday’s news

ByMicheal Johnson

Oct 22, 2020

Talking about a second wave of COVID19 in Latin America is premature, because in the region there is still a high number of infections, said the Pan American Health Organization, who asked not to relax control measures until there is a vaccine.

Europe has surpassed the Americas in the number of infections this week, after some restrictions were relaxed and the greater number of trips during the summer.

However, in the region there are still more than 100,000 daily cases and this Tuesday more than 1,700 deaths were reported. “Testing, treating, and isolating cases, as well as contact tracing, are part of a good surveillance strategy and very few countries are doing well in our region”Said Carisse Etienne, the director of the Organization.

PAHO also reported that rapid antigen tests and reading machines destined for Venezuela They have already arrived in the country and today they will begin to be distributed in 27 hospitals in 24 states. In addition, the Government has requested to be part of the COVAX mechanism for the distribution of vaccines and it is studying how to make the advance payment that the country has to make to receive them more flexible. “This represents $ 18 million and, under the conditions that we all know, it is not a mechanism that they can use at this time, ”explained Dr. Ciro Ugarte, director of the Emergency Department.

© UNICEF / Martin Kingman

An 11-year-old girl in Ecuador receives a guide to study during the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic

UN human rights experts have lamented the decision of the Government of Ecuador to veto the new Organic Health Code that would have meant an improvement in the care of women and girls, as well as LGBTI people.

For the experts, the executive veto “is disappointing and a missed opportunity to improve general legislation on the right to health and advance gender equality ”.

The rapporteurs ensure that “Lagunas ”in current legislation “often” lead to health centers “deny confidential procedures when a woman or girl needs to resort to an abortion or emergency contraception ”.

Ecuador has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates in Latin America, often as a result of gender-based violence, and abortion is illegal except in very limited circumstances. There could be up to 250 women in prison for having requested an abortion or for having voluntarily terminated a pregnancy.

Diogo Moreira / Governo of Sao Paulo

Aerial view of the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil

A UN expert criticized the intimidation suffered by lawyers defending former Brazilian president Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, and asked Brazil to ensure that its courts act impartially.

“I am alarmed by an apparent strategy by certain prosecutors and judges to intimidate lawyers for doing their job, particularly when they defend politicians,” said Diego García-Sayán, special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers.

Roberto Teixeira and Cristiano Zanin defend the former president for his connection to a corruption investigation, known as the “Carlavado” case.

The UN rapporteur reminded Brazil that it is imperative that judges are impartial and pointed out the supposed connections of the judge Marcelo Bretas, that ordered to search the homes of lawyers, with political authorities, including the president Jair Bolsonaro.

OCHA / Gema Cortes

The UN in Venezuela helps to provide reliable information and fight against false news.

And the UN has launched the “Take a Break” campaign That calls to stop for a moment to think and check before sharing information on social networks.

“During the COVID19 pandemic, wrong information can be deadly. ‘Take a break’ and help stop the spread of disinformation, “says António Guterres in a message on his Twitter account.

The new campaign is part of the Verified initiative (Verified), which since last May disseminates accessible health messages and backed by science.

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