“One in four Covid deaths reported worldwide last week took place right here, in the Americas,” she said at a virtual press conference on Wednesday. “Nearly every country in Central America is reporting a rise in infections.”
Canada’s infection rates have surpassed the US infection rates for the first time, Etienne also said.
Across South and Central America, many health systems are struggling to cope with the influx of patients, and are increasingly seeing younger patents, she said, noting that hospitalizations 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 also reporting rising infections.
Countries should receive their second COVAX shipments in the next few weeks, she said.