Bolivia healthcare employees launch strike in COVID-hit area | Coronavirus pandemic Information

Staff in Santa Cruz start 48-hour strike to demand stricter lockdown measures amid surge in coronavirus instances.

Healthcare employees in a area of Bolivia hit laborious by the coronavirus pandemic launched a 48-hour strike on Tuesday, as they attempt to pressure authorities to impose a strict lockdown to fight rising infections.

The nation has recorded greater than 229,000 COVID-19 instances and greater than 10,800 coronavirus-related deaths, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College knowledge.

Santa Cruz, Bolivia’s most populous and affluent area, has registered practically 80,000 instances and greater than 5,000 deaths up to now, in keeping with official figures.

Edil Toledo, the appearing president of the Santa Cruz Medical Faculty, informed Spanish information company EFE that Santa Cruz “is the epicentre” of the pandemic in Bolivia.

“Each hour there are between 30 to 40 instances. Each hour a affected person dies. The scenario in Santa Cruz is worrisome,” Toledo stated.

With hospitals overwhelmed with sufferers, Toledo stated medical doctors had met with native officers greater than a dozen instances to demand extra drastic measures to rein in infections – akin to imposing stay-at-home orders or halting public transportation – however they failed to achieve an settlement.

Chanting and waving indicators, a whole bunch of healthcare employees marched within the streets of Santa Cruz in direction of the regional authorities workplace because the strike kicked off on Tuesday.

Emergency healthcare employees and hospitals treating COVID-19 sufferers have been reportedly not a part of the strike, however all different medical procedures, together with specialist care, have been suspended.

The Bolivian authorities has been reluctant to place extra measures in place amid an financial downturn brought on by the pandemic.

It’s hoping that its vaccination marketing campaign will get the pandemic beneath management.

Greater than eight,000 folks have been vaccinated thus far, in keeping with the Bolivian well being ministry, most of them well being employees.

A healthcare employee receiving a dose of the Sputnik V vaccine in El Alto, outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia [File: David Mercado/Reuters]

In January, Bolivia obtained an preliminary 20,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, out of a complete of 5.three million deliberate doses.

It additionally expects to obtain about a million vaccine doses in March via COVAX, a World Well being Group programme to make sure equitable entry to vaccines.

The COVAX programme goals to ship 1.three billion vaccine doses to 92 eligible low- and middle-income nations in 2021, although it faces potential delays.

Bolivia additionally is predicted to obtain one other 5 million doses in April of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, native media has reported.

The federal government has stated this is able to be sufficient to vaccinate the nation’s 11.5 million folks.

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