Half of global COVID-19 deaths happened in Americas: PAHO

South America is the most 'worrisome' region
South America is the most 'worrisome' region

COVID-19 infections remain to surge throughout the Americas. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) director said on Wednesday, with more than 1.3 million new cases filed this past week and more than 37,000 thousand deaths.

During PAHO’s weekly news business, the organisation’s director, Carissa Etienne, said some nations in the region are noticing an uptick in cases while others are seeing a decline. Still, the region as a whole continues to be heavily affected by the pandemic.

“More than half of all global losses reported over the last week were in the Americas – a sober warning of the human toll of this pandemic,” Etienne said.

“Over the last week, the United States, Brazil and Argentina were amongst the 10 countries in the world recording the highest number of new infections worldwide,” she said.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the US and Brazil are the world leaders in coronavirus deaths. More than 556,000 people died from COVID-19 in the US, and in Brazil and 336,000 have died. Etienne said South America is the most “worrisome” region in the Americas, where cases have grown in almost every country. In Bolivia and Colombia, she said, cases have doubled in the last week.

She added that more than 210 million COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in 49 countries and areas in the region, and 2.8 million vaccines through the COVAX device to 26 countries.

COVAX is an action co-led by Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, with its partners, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to provide access to coronavirus vaccines equitably over the world. The mechanism’s work is required for the region’s weakest nations, such as Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Several nations have relied on vaccines from Russia, China and India.

On Wednesday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said in a tweet that more than 400,000 doses of the Chinese single-dose vaccine CanSino were delivered to Mexico. He said the vaccine was granted emergency support after 15,000 Mexicans took part in trials.