Eighteen nations saw increases in hospital admissions, while ICU admissions increased in 13 countries and territories.
“The surge in cases should serve as a wake-up call. When people get sick, hospitals are overwhelmed, healthcare systems are challenged and deaths rise.” said dr Carissa Etienne, the PAHO Director, speaks during her weekly media briefing.
North America omitted more than half of all infections in the region. Cases there have risen over the past seven weeks, driven by new infections in the United States, which recorded more than 605,000 new cases, a 33 percent increase.
The biggest spike in cases occurred in Central America, where infections emerged increased by 80 percentwhile in South America, Brazil recorded more than 120,000 cases – a nine percent increase.
Meanwhile, Argentina recorded nearly 34,000 cases, which is staggering 92 percent increase about the previous week. Other countries in the subregion also saw increases, while Venezuela, Paraguay and Brazil all saw increases in deaths.
Cases in the Caribbean have been rising for five straight weeks. Compared to the previous week, infections increased by 9.3 percent and deaths by 49 percent. Fourteen countries and territories also reported increases in hospital admissions.
dr Etienne urged governments to take stock and act on these numbers. “The truth is, this virus is don’t leave so soon,” She said.
After a period lower Coronavirus Transmission, many national and local authorities are waiving mask and physical distancing requirements and have reopened borders. However, many people in America are still at risk.
Only 14 of the 51 PAHO countries and territories have achieved it WER Aim to vaccinate 70 percent of their population. Discrepancies still exist in coverage for vulnerable and vulnerable groups such as the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions, and indigenous and Afro-descended communities
dr Etienne stressed that wearing masks and practicing physical distancing are measures that are still valid reduce virus transmission.
“Governments should continue to monitor this to have, Keeping a close eye on trends, adjusting your guidance to protect those most vulnerable, and always ready to scale up these social measures when there is an increase in cases or deaths,” she said.
The public can also play a role by adopting vaccines, masks and other protective measures, she added.
Learning from the pandemic
dr Etienne recommended these countries should not forget the lessons learned in the last two years of living with the new disease.
They need to focus on the virus amid a steady drop in testing. Even where self-tests are available, the results are not always reported to health authorities.
“Testing and surveillance are our eyes and ears for this pandemic and can help governments make informed decisions,” said the PAHO chief, emphasizing the importance of maintaining and strengthening associated infrastructure.
At the same time, governments must continue to invest in their healthcare systems to respond quickly to new developments and address healthcare needs beyond COVID-19.
dr Etienne recalled that when COVID-19 vaccines were first launched over a year ago, the Justice was a concern and ensuring adequate doses to cover those most at risk.
“Supply was the biggest obstacle in 2021. That’s no longer the case,” she said. “We have adequate doses to cover those most at risk and we are committed to that.”