While the spread of new coronavirus cases is stable or slowing inIn many parts of the world, it is accelerating in the Western Hemisphere, where new cases reports have increased by 20% over the past week, the World Health Organization warned on Wednesday.
North America, where new reported cases are up by a third, is the main driver of the trend.
New cases have doubled in the Canadian province of Alberta, "where hospitals are experiencing a critical staff shortage ", Dr Carissa F. Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, a
Several countries in Central America are also experiencing outbreaks of infection, notedincluding Costa Rica, Guatemala and Belize. The spread of the virus has slowed somewhat in the Caribbean, but there are exceptions, notably in Jamaica, where new reported cases are at their highest pandemic level.
By By contrast, across much of South America, which was hit hard earlier this year, reports of new infections and deaths from Covid-19 are on the decline. Experts at the organization are not sure why, although they have dismissed speculations that a drop in testing could be responsible.
"It is important to note that this decrease in South America is not an effect of laboratory tests ", said Dr Sylvain Aldighieri, PAHO incident manager for Covid-19" The vigilance of the laboratory has been maintained. "
Dr Aldighieri stated that a certain nombThere are factors that could be at work in South America, including strict social distancing measures and reduced mobility. Seasonal change may also play a role, he added, noting that "epidemiological curves influenza between 2014 and 2019 in South America behave similarly to Covid-19 between 2020 and 2021 ".
Although the highly variant delta infectious disease is becoming predominant in the Caribbean, it has yet to make significant inroads in South America, Dr Aldighieri said.
Officials WHO called on national governments to pay more attention to how the pandemic is affecting children, both directly and indirectly.
" At the start of the pandemic, the virus had a disproportionate impact on our elderly, "said Dr Etienne, " and asAs a result, too many children and young people still do not think they are in danger. We need to change that. "
The pressures the pandemic has placed on health services also mean that many young people are not receiving annual check-ups , routine immunizations and other services, including reproductive health services. This is helping fuel one of the biggest leaps in teenage pregnancy we have seen in over a decade "said Dr Etienne.
And the School closures due to the pandemic " triggered the worst education crisis we have ever seen in this region "she added.