25% global Covid-19 deaths occurred in Americas, says Pan American Health Organization
The uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus through all Americas accounted for a major part of global deaths last week, with one in four COVID-19 deaths in the world taking place here, says Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa Etienne.
"One in four COVID deaths reported worldwide last week took place right here, in the Americas. Nearly every country in Central America is reporting a rise in infections," CNN cited her press conference on Wednesday.
For the first time, Canada's infection rates have surpassed the US COVID-19 infection rates, the PAHO director informed.
The surge of infections is being led by new COVID-19 variants, which slow vaccination rollouts, due to lack of vaccine availability, are also providing major setbacks for a number of countries in the Americas.
Many health systems across South and Central America are struggling to cope with the influx of patients, Etienne said, adding that hospitalisations are "at an all-time high" in Costa Rica, Guatemala's hospitals have reached maximum capacity and hospitals in several major Colombian cities are running out of intensive care beds.
Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay are among the nations that are reporting rising coronavirus infections, according to CNN.
Brazil has long been among the worst-hit nations in the Americas, with the second-highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world after the US. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is generally known as a longtime coronavirus sceptic, is now facing a government probe over his handling of the pandemic.
As of this week, more than 317 million vaccine doses have been administered across 49 countries and territories in the region, according to Etienne.