Americas accounts for majority of new COVID-19 deaths worldwide

The region of the Americas accounted for 64 per cent of the new deaths reported globally over the prior two months, according to a new epidemiological update published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The region recorded more than 213,000 new deaths, though it only makes up about 13 per cent of the global population.

The epidemiological update noted that the majority of the new deaths globally were reported by Brazil, with 19 per cent; the United States of America, with 16 per cent; India comprising 13 per cent; and Mexico making up 12 per cent.

The organisation said the number of cases worldwide has increased by 158 per cent, with some 14 million additional cases since the PAHO report was published June 23. Deaths rose by 72 per cent, comprising some 300,000 additional deaths.

“While COVID-19 cases seem to have steadied in some countries and territories at the national level (eg the United States and Canada), daily notification rates are now accelerating in other countries and territories, many of which are experiencing larger outbreaks for the first time since the onset of the pandemic in the region (eg countries and territories in the Caribbean subregion),” the PAHO update noted.

However, daily notifications of cases in the United States of America and Brazil are trending downwards, the report said.

In Central America, cases and deaths have increased by over 300 per cent since June (cases went from 61,058 to 266,000 and deaths rose from 1,580 to 7,203).

Meanwhile, in the Caribbean there was a 230 per cent increase in cases (reaching more than 100,000 new cases) and a 123 per cent increase in deaths (reaching 1,384 deaths) compared with what was reported in June.

South America reported more than 5.6 million cases and 186,000 deaths report, nearly three times the number of cases and twice the deaths since last June, the report said.

In a press briefing this week, PAHO Director Carissa F Etienne said that rising numbers of cases signal an urgent need to implement public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 such as contact tracing, social distancing, sheltering in place and limits on public gatherings.

“We can’t stop all transmission, but if countries stay vigilant and expand testing and surveillance, they can better identify spikes in cases and act quickly to contain them before they spread out of control,” she said. 

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