translated from Spanish: WHO: Pandemic remains in ‘worrying and intense’ phase in Latin America

The COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America, a region that is about to overcome the barrier of 100,000 dead, is in “an intense phase, with a worrying trend of a continuous increase in cases,” the world health organization’s (WHO) emergency chief stressed today.
The agency’s Executive Director of Health Emergencies, Mike Ryan, said at a press conference that in America there have been increases in the number of cases of between 25 and 50 percent in the last week and “many countries continue to have sustained community transmission.”
The pandemic later arrived in the region than in other severely affected areas such as Europe or the United States, and its mortality rates are somewhat lower, but Brazil is the second-largest country in the world to death, with more than 51,000, and Mexico on the seventh, surpassing 22,000 deaths.
“Unfortunately, low levels of transmissions have not been reached in the region to say that the disease has peaked,” said Ryan, who said that governments in the area need to continue to maintain clear communication with their citizens in order for a community response to the pandemic.
“The arrival of the peak and the back trajectory have a lot to do with what a country does,” added Ryan, who stressed that “the virus exploits the situation in weak health systems.”
“You have to act at all levels and use all the resources,” insisted the Irish expert, who reiterated his call to locate as many cases as and track contacts as one of the basic measures to curb contagion.
The head of WHO’s Department of Emerging Diseases, Maria Van Kerkhove, added that the situation could worsen in areas of South America that are now entering the colder months of the southern winter, due to the coincidence of the flu-ailment season.
“There could be cases where influenza and COVID-19 are confused, making it difficult to track the disease,” he stressed.

Original source in Spanish

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