COVID instances surge in North America, decline in South America, says well being company

A resident receives a dose of a vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the “Busao da Vacina” or Big Bus of Vaccine, a project run by the Brazilian Red Cross in collaboration with the government of the state of Minas Gerais to vaccinate people, in Ouro Branco, Brazil, July 19, 2021. REUTERS / Washington Alves

BRASILIA, Sept. 15 (Reuters) – COVID-19 infections in North America have risen by a third in the past week, due to surges in the United States and Canada, where new infections have doubled in the province of Alberta, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday.

Hospitals in Alberta are facing critical staff shortages, according to PAHO, the regional branch of the World Health Organization.

The United States is reporting more than 100,000 new daily infections for the first time since January, and hospital capacity in many southern US states remains worryingly low, the agency said.

With many parts of the world reporting steady decreases in coronavrius infections, America reported a nearly 20% increase in new cases, PAHO said.

Most South American countries are seeing sustained decreases in COVID-19 cases and deaths, it said.

Infections are on the rise in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Belize, and many hospitals there are saturated with COVID patients.

Meanwhile, infections in the Caribbean have slowed, with the exception of Grenada, Barbados and Bermuda, which are reporting sharp jumps in new cases, and Jamaica has had its highest weekly case count since the pandemic began.

“We are encouraged that more than 30% of the people in Latin America and the Caribbean have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” said PAHO director Carissa Etienne in a weekly briefing.

However, she said the doses were not evenly distributed across the region and there was still a long way to go to reach everyone in need of a vaccine.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Arrangement by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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