COVID-19 Cases Increase 50 Per Cent In The Americas In The Last Week

(CMC) — Data from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) show that COVID-19 cases increased 50 per cent and deaths 11 per cent in the region of the Americas in the last week.

From December 19 to 25, more than half of countries and territories in the region reported an increase in cases of over 20 per cent. The Omicron variant has been reported in 27 countries and territories of the Americas.

While the largest number of new cases were reported in the United States, followed by Canada and Argentina, PAHO said the number of COVID-19 cases is also rising in the Caribbean region.

It said Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica show significant increases compared to the previous week. Trinidad and Tobago, on the other hand, reported declines.

PAHO warned that the increase in the virus circulating in several countries, coupled with greater personal contact due to the holiday and vacation season, may lead to a rise in cases, hospitalisations, and deaths in the coming weeks.

To reduce COVID-19 transmission, the health agency has continued to recommend vaccination and public health measures, including the use of tight-fitting masks, physical distancing, ventilation of indoor spaces, avoidance of crowds, and practising hand hygiene.

In addition, PAHO continues to call on countries to accelerate vaccination coverage against COVID-19.

As of December 28, more than 1.4 billion doses have been administered in the Americas, and 57 per cent of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean is fully vaccinated.

The COVAX mechanism, through PAHO’s Revolving Fund, has so far delivered more than 76.2 million doses of vaccine to 33 countries in the Americas, many of them donated by other countries.