COVID is rising within the Americas, virus ‘not going away anytime quickly’ -PAHO

Individuals stroll in a crowded avenue as new circumstances of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19), pushed by the Omicron variant, are surging, in Lima, Peru January 12, 2022. Image taken January 12, 2022. REUTERS/Angela Ponce

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SAO PAULO, Might 18 (Reuters) – COVID-19 is on the rise once more within the Americas as many nations have deserted measures like masking and social distancing and lots of lag in vaccination charges, the Pan American Well being Group (PAHO) stated on Wednesday.

Instances within the Americas surged 27.2% final week from the prior one, pushed primarily by a spike in infections in the USA, in accordance with PAHO.

Greater than half of a complete 918,000 infections got here from North America as U.S. circumstances jumped by 33% to 605,000 within the final week. Infections in North America have now been climbing for the previous seven weeks.

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PAHO Director Dr. Carissa Etienne famous that many nations and native governments are giving up measures to guard towards the virus and have reopened borders after a interval of decrease transmission.

“Masking and social distancing have served us effectively because the begin of the pandemic and are nonetheless legitimate measures to decrease virus transmission,” she stated, including that governments must be able to scale up these measures every time there is a rise in circumstances or deaths.

Too many individuals stay in danger, PAHO stated, as solely 14 of the 51 nations and territories within the Americas have reached the World Well being Group’s objective of vaccinating 70% of their inhabitants, she added throughout a information convention.

PAHO stated new COVID-19 infections and deaths within the area have been rising steadily over the previous 4 weeks, with over 3,500 fatalities reported final week.

Central America noticed the biggest share rise in circumstances, with infections hovering by 80%. In Brazil, the second most populated nation within the Americas, infections elevated by 9% to 120,000.

“It’s time to take inventory of those numbers and act. COVID is once more on the rise within the Americas,” Etienne stated. “The reality is that this virus shouldn’t be going away anytime quickly.”

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Reporting by Gabriel Araujo and Steven Grattan; Modifying by Invoice Berkrot

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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