Covid-19 cases and deaths are at an alarmingly high level in the Americas, said the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa Etienne, on Wednesday.
Last week, the region reported over 1.2 million new Covid-19 cases and 31,000 deaths, numbers that have remained unchanged in recent weeks, Etienne said.
“Latin American countries also had the five highest death rates in the world,” Etienne warned last week.
During PAHO’s weekly briefing and assessment of the evolution of the pandemic, Etienne highlighted Cuba after continuing to report significant new infections.
In Central American countries such as Costa Rica, Panama and Belize, as well as in Honduras, peaks are recorded, “where the beds in the intensive care unit are used to over 80%,” said Etienne.
“We are also concerned about increasing trends and hospital stays in Haiti,” Etienne told reporters
While in South America countries like Chile, Peru and Paraguay saw declines in new cases, new cases are increasing in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. Bolivia has also reported “a dramatic increase in cases and deaths,” said Etienne.
When asked about the presence of the Indian variant in the region, PAHO Incident Manager Sylvain Aldighieri said cases have been discovered in 10 countries in North, Central and South America and are mostly related to international travelers.
Regarding the slow adoption of vaccination in America, the director of PAHO again called on the world community to help expand vaccine coverage in the region.
“In our region of almost 700 million people, only 37 million have been fully vaccinated against Covid. I hope you will agree that this is totally unacceptable, ”said Etienne.
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