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The Americas Hit Hardest By Covid-19, Says WHO

The Americas Hit Hardest By Covid-19, Says WHO
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the brunt of the global coronavirus pandemic is being borne by the Americas. The WHO said that four of the 10 worst hit countries in the world are currently in North and South America.
Highlighting the issues of the pandemic in Brazil and Mexico, the WHO's top emergency expert Mike Ryan said that the disease was "highly active" in Central and South America.
He said that the current situation in Brazil, which has now become one of the global hot-spots for the virus, has become a cause of concern particularly in the heavily-populated cities of the country. Ryan said even though some of the intensive care units were at a critical stage and under intense pressure as more than 90 per cent of the beds being occupied, the health system of Brazil was "still coping" with the pandemic.
The WHO said that Mexico on the other hand currently has almost 130,000 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection while over 15,000 people passing away.
Brazil has more than 800,000 cases and 41,000 deaths which makes it the second worst hit country in the world.
However the worst Covid-19 hit country in the world is the United States that currently has over 2 million cases and almost 114,000 deaths.
“We are very much in the upswing of this pandemic, particularly in the global South,” Ryan said. “Some countries are having trouble exiting of the so-called lockdowns as they are seeing an increase in cases.”
With societies reopening and with people meeting again, there is a possibility that the disease was spreading again and the situation was being aggravated because of inadequate testing and insufficient social distancing.
Despite this, Ryan acknowledged the pressures on countries to restart normal lives and economic activities even as recession has hit almost all countries. “There is a careful balance between keeping people at home... and the untoward effect of that on economic and society. That is not an easy balance. There are no correct answers,” Ryan said.
And even though it appeared that some countries had gone over the worst part of the pandemic, there was recurrence of the disease in some pockets and clusters.
Even in regions where the pandemic appeared to be on the wane, vigilance was required worldwide against the "very dangerous virus", said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Gheybreyesus.
“Our fear is although it is declining in Europe it is increasing in other parts of the world. Even Europe cannot be safe because the virus can be reintroduced to Europe,” he said.
The need for any vaccine against the disease to be equitably distributed across the world was stressed by Tedros even as concerns have been expressed that those countries that develop vaccines could hoard them for their usage. It was important to ensure everyone had fair access to any life-saving products that are developed and therefore any vaccine against Covid-19 should be made available as a global public good, Tedros said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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