Posted: Friday, June 18, 2021. 9:42 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says more than 1.1 million new COVID-19 cases and 31,000 deaths were reported in the past week in the Americas, including the United States and Canada. For the past few weeks, four of the five countries with the highest weekly death counts in the world have been in the Americas.
Director Dr. Carissa Etienne, briefing the press this week, noted that Mexico reported a slight increase in cases due primarily to the Baja California and Yucatan regions. In the Caribbean, Cuba and the Dominican Republic are reporting most new cases, while Trinidad and Tobago is still reporting high death rates.
In Central America over the past two weeks, infections have been rising in Belize, Panama, and Guatemala while in Honduras and Costa Rica, cases are beginning to decline.
Further south, the pandemic is filling hospitals in Bolivia, Chile, and Uruguay, and most patients are younger people between 25 and 40 years old. In the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, 80% of ICU beds are filled by COVID patients. Colombia’s large metropolitan areas are also seeing very high ICU bed occupation.
“Against this backdrop, we urge countries to tighten public health measures in places with high transmission,” Dr. Etienne said. “This is the most effective way to bring cases down until we have enough vaccines for everyone.”
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