November 24. New coronavirus infections jumped 23 percent in the Americas last week, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said, warning that the region could potentially be on track to follow trends in Europe, where several countries are issuing lockdown amid surging cases.
PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said there were 880,583 new COVID-19 infections in the Americas during the past week and more than 15,000 deaths.
The majority of new cases, Etienne said were driven by rising infections in the United States and Canada. While Central America, she said saw a 37 percent reduction in new infections.
“These trends are telling,” Etienne said during a weekly news briefing. “Even though COVID cases have dropped significantly over the last few months, COVID transmission is still active across our region, so every time we lower our guard, the virus gains momentum,” she said.
The stakes are particularly high for the US, a country that has already recorded more than 770,000 deaths due to COVID – more than any other country in the world. Brazil comes second with more than 600,000 deaths according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.