Nearly half of all COVID-19 cases globally can be found in the Americas, and the numbers continue to climb, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Americas, Carissa Etienne, said Wednesday.
COVID-19: Death Toll in Latin America Surpasses 70,000
During a virtual briefing from Washington, the WHO director said that as of June 23, there had been more than 4.5 million COVID-19 cases and 226,000 deaths reported in the Americas.
In Latin America and the Caribbean alone, cases have tripled from 690,000 one month ago to 2 million, she said, with Brazil the most affected country after to exceed a million cases of COVID-19, joining the United States as one of the most affected countries in the world.
Etienne also said that what is now seen is a widespread transmission in Central America and South America starting this weekend, so the region needs to be realistic to take the necessary measures to overcome the crisis of the pandemic.
On the Caribbean countries, the WHO director said that the situation of the pandemic was faring better, although still with hot spots on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as in an area that covers Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.
“In the absence of effective treatments or a widely available vaccine, we expect that over the next two years in the Americas, we will experience recurring COVID-19 outbreaks, which may be interspersed with periods of limited transmission,” she added.
For his part, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had already warned a few weeks ago about the danger posed by the advance of the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly in Central and South America, given that the region has not yet reached the peak infections. In contrast, health systems have already collapsed in several countries.