COVID-19 cases still surging in the Americas, WHO warns

UN health agency says region saw average of 150,000 daily new coronavirus cases last week, as US breaks records.

The US has recorded more than 10 million confirmed infections, with new cases soaring to all-time highs of more than 120,000 a day during the past week [File: Rick Bowmer/AP Photo]

COVID-19 cases are still surging in the Americas, averaging 150,000 a day in the last week, the World Health Organization’s regional office said on Wednesday.

The United States continues to report record-breaking numbers, while parts of Canada and some states in Mexico, including the capital, are experiencing spikes, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) said.

The US became the first country to surpass 10 million COVID-19 infections, according to a Reuters tally, as the third wave of the virus surges across the nation.

Other countries in the Americas are doing better. Argentina, Costa Rica and Jamaica have curbed the outbreak with effective contact tracing, and most Caribbean nations have avoided spikes by acting fast, PAHO Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa said.

Europe has been a cautionary tale on the danger of a resurgence of the virus when restrictive measures are lifted too quickly, he said in a briefing.

Central America is seeing a steady decrease in COVID-19 cases due to better control measures, the PAHO director said.

Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay have flattened their curves, and cases in Argentina are decreasing due to improved coordination between the federal and provincial governments, he said.

Chile’s effective epidemic surveillance systems allowed it to bounce back after unprecedented spikes earlier this year, Barbosa said.

In Cuba and Costa Rica, universal healthcare systems have ensured the COVID-19 pandemic never got out of control, he said.

Source: Reuters