COVID-19 infection continues increase across AmericaWith more than 1.3 million new cases registered in the past week, and more than 37,000 deaths, PAHO, director of the Inter-American Health Organization (PAHO), said Wednesday.
During the PAHO weekly press conference, the organization’s director, Carissa Etienne, said several countries are in area the number of cases increased while others decreased, but the entire region continued to be severely affected by the pandemic.
“More than half of the global deaths reported last week were in the Americas – a sobering reminder of the epidemic’s population,” said Etienne.
“Last week, the United States, Brazil and Argentina were among the 10 countries in the world with the highest number of new infections worldwide,” she said.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the US and Brazil are the world’s leading countries in coronavirus deaths. More than 556,000 people died from COVID-19 in the US and more than 336,000 in Brazil.
Etienne said South America is the most “worrying” region in the Americas, where cases are on the rise in most countries. In Bolivia and ColombiaThe number of cases, she said, doubled last week.
So far, she added, more than 210 million COVID-19 vaccines have been used in 49 countries and territories in the region, and 2.8 million vaccines through the COVAX mechanism for 26 countries.
COVAX is an initiative co-led by the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, with its partners the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Disease Preparedness Innovation Coalition (CEPI), to provide equitable access to coronavirus vaccines worldwide. The work of this mechanism is needed for the poorest countries in the region, such as Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
But vaccination rates vary greatly across regions. When Chile leads with more than 37% of the population vaccinated, according to Our World in Data, other countries such as Guatemala and Honduras, have vaccinated less than 1% of their populations.
Several countries have relied on vaccines from Russia, China and India.
On Wednesday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said in a tweet that more than 400,000 doses of China’s single-dose CanSino vaccine had been shipped to Mexico. He said the vaccine was approved urgently after 15,000 Mexicans joined the trial.
The country’s Ministry of Health announced in a tweet from Chile it had emergency approval of the CanSino vaccine on Wednesday.
The PAHO press conference falls on World Health Day, every year to raise awareness of health issues and the importance of equity in access to health care.
The pandemic, which started spreading rapidly globally more than a year ago, has deepened inequalities that have long existed in the region, Etienne said.
“Fighting COVID-19 effectively is not possible without addressing some of these inequalities and supporting the most vulnerable as they fight to protect themselves,” she said.
“On World Health Day, we call on equitable nations to be the guiding force for their COVID response.”