Since the start of the pandemic, the Americas region “has recorded nearly 31 million cases, and 787,000 deaths due to Covid-19,” PAHO Director Dr. Carissa Etienne said, adding that “popular tourism islands of the Caribbean, like Bermuda, are experiencing a rise in infections.”
Dr. Etienne was speaking at the Pan American Health Organization [PAHO], the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization [WHO] weekly briefing yesterday.
In delivering her opening remarks, Dr. Etienne said “Since the start of this pandemic, less than a year ago, the Region of the Americas has recorded nearly 31 million cases and 787,000 deaths due to Covid-19.
“This represents roughly half of all Covid-19 infections and deaths worldwide. In the last week alone, there were nearly five million new Covid-19 infections reported – most in North America, where Canada and the U.S. continue to be the principal drivers of new cases.
“In Canada, hospitalizations are mounting, particularly in its central regions, raising concerns about hospital capacity. In the U.S., deaths have surpassed 300,000, a milestone that underscores the human toll of this crisis. In Central America, Panama and Belize are seeing a rise in Covid-19 infections.
“Some hospitals in Belize are already over capacity, raising concerns about the availability of care. Meanwhile, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua are reporting relatively low Covid-19 numbers overall.
“However, we should consider these trends with caution since hurricanes Eta and Iota may have impacted national surveillance systems and many people have been displaced from the affected regions.
The hour long video of the full briefing
“Popular tourism islands of the Caribbean, like Bermuda, are experiencing a rise in infections. And unfortunately, after many weeks, Sint Maarten and Aruba have recently reported new Covid-19 deaths.
“And as we look to South America, Brazil and Colombia are reporting the highest numbers of new cases, with a worrisome rise in infections within Brazil’s southeastern regions. Bordering areas in Paraguay and Uruguay are also seeing an acceleration in cases, although both countries are reporting rising infections nation-wide.”
The full Director’s remarks follow below [PDF here]: