Rising cases in Americas trouble WHO
While the Americas are reporting relatively small increases in COVID-19 infections, they still account for more than a quarter of all cases reported worldwide, World Health Organization officials said on Monday.
“There were almost 1 million cases reported in the Americas last week,” Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, said in a questionand-answer session on social media.
“In Brazil there were almost 300,000 cases reported last week. In the US, more than 200,000 cases reported.”
The agency said on Monday that the Americas accounted for 40 percent of global deaths.
Van Kerkhove warned of a peak in the transmission level that has been observed in the region, adding that “they are stuck at a really high level of intensity, and they can’t quite bring that transmission down”.
Worldwide, there was an 11.5 percent increase in cases last week, WHO said.
However, the Lambda variant first discovered in South America does not seem to have brought an increase in cases, as it has started to be “outcompeted” by others, she said.
Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said: “South America, Central America and other places around the world need more vaccines if they’re going to break this cycle of cases.”