Officials said the new Brazil version, as well as two others, have spread to 20 countries in the US.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday that cases and deaths continue to rise in Latin American countries, after a steady increase for weeks on end of coronovirus infection in the United States and Canada.
“Last week, more than 1.8 million people in the US became ill with COVID-19 and more than 47,000 died,” PAHO director Carissa Etienne said in a briefing.
In Mexico, cases are still increasing, particularly in states that attract tourism during the holiday season, such as Guerrero, Quintana Row, Nayarit and Baja California del Sur.
According to the Caribbean, most nations are seeing a repeat in COVID-19 infections, but large islands such as the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Cuba continue to see increasing numbers of new infections, the organization said.
In South America, Colombia reported the highest incidence of cases relative to its population in the past week, followed by Brazil, where the city of Manaus is riddled with an increase in cases and deaths driven by the virus and a new Amazon version. .
“Almost every country in South America has reported an increase in COVID-19 infections in the past week,” Etienne said and “Colombia continues to report the highest incidence, followed by an exponential increase in both cases in Brazil.” Has been. ” Deaths in Manaus city
The COVID-19 vaccines are distributed by COVAX, an alliance led by the WHO and Gavi Vaccine Alliance to ensure equal access to shots, will begin arriving in the region in the second half of February.
PAHO Deputy Director of Health Emergency Department Sylvain Aldigy said while remote areas of the region continue to struggle for oxygen access, a critical medical treatment is needed to treat critically ill patients.
“PAHO has donated some 600 cans of oxygen to more than 20 countries in the region and in some cases, PAHO has supported development for the local production of oxygen in remote areas, areas that are difficult to find Areas with indigenous populations. ” Said Aldighieri.
Officials also said that the new Brazil version, as well as two others previously identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, have spread to 20 countries in the US, although their frequency is still limited.
Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and El Salvador will receive the first lot of the PfO-BioNTech vaccine, PAHO assistant director Jarbus Barbosa said, while the 35.3 million doses of AstraZeneca’s shot will provide emergency use approval as soon as the WHO meets.
It aims to provide protection in at-risk areas to 20 percent of the population in countries participating in COVAX.
But Etienne warned that “vaccine doses are limited and will be in short supply everywhere before”.