Wednesday, 15 July 2020

WHO: COVID-19 cases rapidly increasing in the Americas

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has raised the alarm over the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the Americas, especially Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Five of the 10 countries worldwide reporting the highest new number of cases in the past 24 hours are in the Americas: Brazil, USA, Peru, Chile and Mexico,” said WHO executive director Mike Ryan.

Other countries reporting significant increases in cases include Colombia, Haiti, Argentina and Bolivia.

Ryan pointed out that while South Asia and Africa were seen as potential hotspots weeks ago, the situation in those areas have stabilised. “To a certain extent, the situation in those two settings are still difficult, but it’s stable. Clearly the situation in many South American countries is far from stable. There’s been a rapid increase in cases and those systems are coming under increasing pressure,” he said.

The WHO executive director also called Central and South America “intense zones of transmission” for COVID-19. “I don’t believe that we have reached the peak in that transmission, and at this point, I cannot predict when we will,” he said. Ryan added that at this time, countries in the region “need our support, they need our solidarity.”

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