Coronavirus spreading like never before in Americas, health agency says


BRASILIA (Reuters) -COVID-19 infections are reaching new peaks in the Americas with 7.2 million new circumstances and greater than 15,000 COVID-related deaths in the final week, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) stated on Wednesday.

“The virus is spreading extra actively than ever before,” PAHO Director Carissa Etienne advised a briefing.

The Caribbean has had the steepest improve in infections for the reason that begin of the two-year-old pandemic, the regional agency stated. In North America, the United States and Canada are experiencing a surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Given a scarcity of testing, PAHO advisable that international locations prioritize fast antigen checks for individuals with COVID-19 signs and who’re prone to spreading the virus.

Even although greater than 60% of individuals in Latin America and the Caribbean have been totally vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, Omicron is spreading quickly in all areas, stated PAHO Incident Manager Sylvain Aldighieri.

The variant’s advance in coming weeks and months will rely upon public health measures to include it, together with use of masks and social distancing and above all vaccinations, to cut back the severity of COVID-19 circumstances and hospitalizations, he stated.

Brazil reported a report 137,103 circumstances of the coronavirus in 24 hours as Omicron unfold in Latin America’s largest nation, the Health Ministry stated on Tuesday, as new infections soared above the earlier every day report of 115,228 in June final 12 months.

Brazil has the world’s third highest dying toll from COVID-19 after the United States and Russia, in keeping with a Reuters tally.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Howard Goller)

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