Covid-19 infections and deaths decrease in Latin America
BRASILIA – Covid-19 is slowly declining across much of North, Central and South America, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday, reporting that last week the death and infection figures on the continent were the lowest for over a year.
Many large Caribbean islands are seeing declining trends, including Cuba, the site of a major Covid-19 outbreak that has lasted for several months.
However, Paraguay saw a doubling of coronavirus cases last week and Belize a sharp rise in Covid-related deaths, the regional branch of the World Health Organization said in a briefing.
“We have reason to be optimistic, but we must remain vigilant,” said PAHO Deputy Director Jarbas Barbosa.
He urged authorities to continue to implement public health measures such as wearing masks, social distancing and limiting large gatherings, especially as many countries still struggle to expand immunization coverage. .
Almost 44% of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have completed their Covid-19 vaccination, largely through donations, made bilaterally or through the COVAX center run by the WHO.
More than 3 million additional doses will arrive in the region via COVAX this week, as deliveries resume in the final months of the year, Barbosa said.
He called on leaders of the major G20 economies gathered this weekend in Rome to do more to accelerate the equitable distribution of vaccines through donations, saying no country would be immune while others were not. ‘were still not protected against the coronavirus.
Barbosa said health took center stage at the COP26 climate summit which begins in Glasgow on Sunday.
Globally, more than 12 million deaths each year are associated with environmental risk factors, including high temperatures, air pollution, forest fires and droughts, according to PAHO.
“Without a response, climate change would transform our environment, our food systems and our living conditions, with potentially devastating consequences for our health,” he said.