Covid-19 is on the rise again in the Americas, as many countries abandon measures such as the use of masks and social distancing and face delays in vaccination, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday (18). ).
Covid cases in the Americas rose 27.2% last week from the previous week, mainly driven by a jump in infections in the United States, according to PAHO.
More than half of a total of 918,000 infections in the region came from North America, while US cases only jumped 33% to 605,000 in the last week. Infections in North America have been rising for the past seven weeks.
PAHO Director Carissa Etienne noted that many countries and local governments are waiving protective measures against the virus and have reopened borders after a period of lower transmission.
“The mask and social distancing have worked well since the beginning of the pandemic and are still valid measures to decrease the transmission of the virus,” she said, adding that governments should be ready to increase these measures whenever there is an increase in cases or deaths.
Many people remain at risk, PAHO said, as only 14 of the 51 countries and territories in the Americas have reached the World Health Organization (WHO) target of vaccinating 70% of their population, she added during a press conference.
PAHO said new Covid-19 infections and deaths in the region have been steadily increasing over the past four weeks, with more than 3,500 deaths reported last week.
Central America had the largest percentage increase in cases, with infections rising by 80%. In Brazil, the second most populous country in the Americas, infections increased by 9%.
“It is time to take stock of these numbers and act. Covid is on the rise again in the Americas,” said Etienne. “The truth is, this virus is not going away anytime soon.”
Source: CNN Brasil