The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) declared itself «very concerned» on Tuesday about the speed at which COVID-19 is spreading in the Americas, where in the last week 266,269 new cases have been reported, reaching 1.74 million contagions.
«We are very concerned about how quickly the pandemic is expanding. It took three months for our region to reach a million cases, but less than three weeks nearly doubled that number,» Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, director of this agency, told a telematic press conference.
Etienne explained that, as of Monday, 1.74 million cases had been reported in the Americas region and more than 104,000 people killed by the new coronavirus, most of them in the US.
Last week, the continent recorded a relative increase of 18% in infected people (266,269 new contagions) and 23% in deaths (19,543 new deaths).
The director of PAHO warned that, due to this growth in the mortality and transmission of the virus, in South America health systems in large urban centers, such as Lima or Rio de Janeiro, «are being rapidly overwhelmed».
In line with this, he explained that these overload situations are not only a big impact for cities, but also for neighboring communities; which can hit some indigenous peoples like those in the Amazon region, which have less access to health systems, hard.
Etienne was aphdaughter by the economic crisis that will leave the pandemic and announced that PAHO is having a dialogue with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank and other financial bodies to coordinate the economic response in america.
In addition, he said that the institution he leads also collaborates with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean with the aim of «reconfiguring a new model in which existing health systems and universal health coverage are seen as the key to economic growth and social integration».