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North and Central America are driving a hemispherical coronavirus surge




The spread of new coronavirus cases is stable or slowing in many parts of the world, but is accelerating in the Western Hemisphere, and the World Health Organization warned Wednesday that new case reports increased by 20% last week. bottom.

North America, with a one-third increase in new case reports, is the main driver of this trend.

Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, a division of the WHO, said at a news conference that new cases have doubled in Alberta, Canada, where “hospitals are experiencing a serious staff shortage.” rice field. New cases in the United States have reached levels not seen since January, and Dr. Etienne said, “Hospitals in many states in the southern United States still have a worryingly low capacity.”

Infections are also rampant in several Central American countries, including Costa Rica, Guatemala and Belize. The spread of the virus has slowed slightly in the Caribbean, but with exceptions, including Jamaica, new case reports have culminated in a pandemic.

In contrast, in most of South America, which was hit hard earlier this year, reports of new infections and deaths from Covid-19 are declining. Organizational experts have rejected speculation that the test may be due to poor testing, but the reason is unknown.

“It’s important to note that this decline in South America is not the result of laboratory testing,” said Dr. Sylvain Aldighieri, Incident Manager for Covid-19 at PAHO. “Laboratory vigilance is maintained.”

Dr. Aldighieri said many factors could be at work in South America, including strict social distance measures and reduced mobility in some countries. Seasonal changes can also have an impact, he added, “the 2014-2019 influenza pandemic curve in South America behaves similarly to Covid-19 from 2020 to 2021. “.

Highly infectious delta mutants are becoming predominant in the Caribbean, but have not yet made significant invasions in South America, Dr. Ardigieri said.

WHO officials have called on governments to pay more attention to how pandemics affect children, both directly and indirectly.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, the virus had a disproportionate effect on our elderly,” said Dr. Etienne. “As a result, I don’t think too many children and adolescents are still at risk. We have to change that.”

The tensions that pandemics have brought to health services also mean that many young people do not receive other services, including annual testing, routine immunization, and reproductive health services. This has helped “fuel one of the biggest jumps in teenage pregnancies seen in more than a decade,” said Dr. Etienne.

The pandemic closure of the school “caused the worst educational crisis ever seen in the region,” she added.




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