Covid-19 cases are on the rise in the Americas, where infections rose 27.2 percent last week driven by a surge in confirmed cases in the United States, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) warned Wednesday.
Of the 918,000 new cases reported in the region in the week that ended on May 14, more than 605,000 correspond to the United States.
The PAHO said that infections have been increasing in North America over the last seven weeks.
The four subregions of the continent reported rising infections this week, with the largest increase in Central America (up 80 percent).
In South America, Brazil reported more than 120,000 new cases (up nine percent), while Argentina had almost 34,000 (up 92 percent). Venezuela, Paraguay and Brazil also reported an increased number of deaths.
In the Caribbean, where Covid-19 cases have risen in the last five consecutive weeks, the increase in infections was 9.3 percent, and for deaths, 49 percent.
The PAHO also stated that hospitalisations for Covid-19 rose in 18 American countries, and admissions into Intensive Care Units grew in 13 countries and territories of the region.
“It is time to take stock of these numbers and act,” said PAHO director Carissa Etienne during a virtual press conference. “Covid-19 is again on the rise in the Americas.”
“The truth is that this virus is not going to disappear anytime soon,” she added.
Etienne recalled that many countries removed requirements for mask use and social distancing in public places, but “too many” people remain at risk of developing serious Covid-19 cases and dying.
According to PAHO figures, only 14 of the 51 countries and territories in the Americas achieved the World Health Organisation's (WHO) goal of vaccinating 70 percent of their population.
“The rise in cases should serve as a wake-up call,” said Etienne.
“Governments must continue closely monitoring the Covid-19 trends, adapt their guides to protect those most vulnerable and always be ready to scale up social measures every time there is an increase in cases or deaths,” she said.