Nurse wearing respirator mask holding a positive blood test result for the new rapidly spreading Coronavirus, originating in Wuhan, China
Posted: Monday, January 3, 2022. 10:58 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Americas has seen the biggest rise in COVID-19 cases worldwide in recent weeks, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Deaths rose 11 percent in the week before Christmas, according to PAHO data, and more than half of PAHO affiliates reported at least 20 percent increases in cases.
The Omicron Variant of Concern has now been reported in 27 countries and territories of the Americas.
Leading the way are the United States, Canada, Argentina, Panama, and Belize in Central America, and much of Southern South America from Ecuador to Uruguay except for Brazil.
In the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica all saw significant gains.
To reduce COVID-19 transmission, PAHO continues to recommend vaccination and public health measures. These include the use of tight-fitting masks, physical distancing, ventilation of indoor spaces, avoidance of crowds, and hand hygiene.
In addition, PAHO continues to call on countries to accelerate vaccination coverage against COVID-19. As of December 28, more than 1.4 billion doses have been administered in the Americas, and 57 percent of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean is fully vaccinated.
The COVAX Facility, through PAHO’s Revolving Fund, has so far delivered more than 76.2 million doses of vaccine to 33 countries in the Americas, many of them donated by other countries.