Health system overwhelmed in Haiti amid wave of COVID-19 cases


The health system in Haiti is being overwhelmed as the country is facing its first major wave of coronavirus cases. 

Hospitals in the country are reportedly having to turn away patients as the system can not handle everyone seeking treatment, The Associated Press reported

Haiti is trying to open up another hospital in the middle of this wave since the country has few hospitals to deal with the outbreak.

The country began imposing nightly curfews and mask mandates at the end of May when cases spiked, although getting citizens to follow them has been a challenge.

Haiti had largely avoided the worst of the pandemic last year and to date has over 15,000 reported cases and over 330 deaths. However, experts believe the total is more, according to the AP.

The AP noted the case count could be affected by Haitians not seeking medical attention due to not being able to afford it. 

“Many people are dying on arrival in ambulances,” St. Luke Foundation for Haiti said. “We have received many nuns as patients, a sure sign (COVID-19) is in the poorest areas.”

Haiti was moved to a level 4 travel advisory on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated travel list due to the outbreak. 

Haiti has not had a vaccine dose in the country, but the U.S. said it will be donating some to the country, according to the AP. It is unclear how many doses the country will receive from the U.S.

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