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PAHO puts South America on alert due to the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in Brazil

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Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2021. 6:53 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa Etienne has put South America on alert due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in Brazil. Etienne’s warning singled out five countries, namely Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The virus continues spreading dangerously in all of Brazil. Cases and deaths are on the rise and intensive care wards are being overrun in many states, Etienne said.

Etienne called on all Brazilians to adopt the preventive measures that are being implemented.

Etienne said that even though vaccines are already being administered in Latin America and the Caribbean, more cases were reported in the region last week. She said that means that millions of persons are at risk of getting infected by COVID-19 and dying.

The PAHO director said that people must continue taking COVID-19 seriously because the virus is not taking a step back and the pandemic is not going away despite that we now have vaccines.

International reports said that last week was Brazil’s worst and that the death toll now stands at 295,000+.

The biggest country in Latin America, Brazil has reported more than 12 million confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic. Over 10.5 million have recovered.

The situation is so bad that Brazil asked PAHO to help them acquire sedatives and other drugs for seriously ill patients who need intubation.

Reuters reported that PAHO Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa said it was already looking for suppliers of intubation kits for Brazil to buy through PAHO’s strategic fund.

“Knowing the country’s difficulty, we are already looking for supply alternatives with international producers,” Barbosa told Reuters.

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