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Americas report record COVID infections -- PAHO

27/01/2022 11:25 AM

BOGOTA, Jan 27  -- The Americas registered their highest number of COVID-19 cases in the past week since the pandemic began as Omicron became the predominant variant, Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) Director Carissa Etienne said Wednesday during a weekly virtual news briefing.

As the region enters its third year of the pandemic, the coronavirus continues to ravage health systems in countries that are still reporting low vaccination rates, reported Anadolu Agency (AA).

In the past week, the region reported more than 8 million new COVID-19 infections, 32 per cent higher than the previous week. Deaths also increased by 37 per cent, reaching 18,000.

In recent weeks, Mexico's daily coronavirus count has soared. In some of its states, infections have tripled over the last week, Etienne said.

According to PAHO, in Central America, fatalities were up 107 per cent compared to the previous week.

Belize reported the highest rates of new infections in Central America and infections are also rising in Honduras and Costa Rica.

COVID cases are also increasing in South America, with spikes in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Paraguay is seeing cases double every two days, said Etienne.

In the Caribbean, significant surges in infections were recorded in Haiti, a country that reported some of the lowest vaccination rates in the region.

The US continues to register the highest number of new infections, said Etienne, although cases decreased by nearly one million over the last week.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said that over the past week, an average of 692,000 new cases had been detected daily, down 6 per cent from the previous week.

Although epidemiologists in the region still do not know when the curve of infections caused by the Omicron variant will go down, some say the new variant could bring the pandemic to an end in March, as is occurring in Europe.

Etienne also emphasised the importance of keeping data to care for and treat patients effectively.




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