By Aaron Humes: Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa F. Etienne reports that COVID-19 infections have generally declined in the Americas in the past week, but “local trends remain worrisome”.
She called on countries to expedite vaccination efforts and take steps to strengthen surveillance efforts to monitor diseases that spread from humans to animals, such as coronaviruses.
Over the last week, nearly 1.2 million COVID-19 cases and 24 thousand COVID-related deaths were reported in the Americas.
Cases have decreased in the U.S. and Canada but increased in Mexico.
While cases are declining across the Caribbean, Cuba, and Bermuda continue to report high rates of new infections and Barbados saw cases increase by nearly 75 percent over the last week.
Although cases are generally decreasing in Central America, Costa Rica continues to see high rates of hospitalization and ICU bed use. Hospitalizations have also jumped by two-thirds in Belize.
In South America, cases are dropping in many countries but rising in Chile, where the increase is driven primarily by outbreaks in urban centers.