The Americas reported some five million new Covid-19 infections in a week, mostly in the United States and Canada, the Pan American Health Organization said Wednesday.
Since the start of the pandemic the Americas region has recorded some 31 million cases and 787,000 deaths, which is roughly half the known infections and fatalities worldwide.
"In the last week alone, there were nearly five million new COVID-19 infections reported – most in North America, where Canada and the US continue to be the principal drivers of new cases," PAHO director Carissa Etienne told a press briefing.
"In Canada, hospitalizations are mounting... raising concerns about hospital capacity. In the US, deaths have surpassed 300,000, a milestone that underscores the human toll of this crisis," she added.
In Central America, the agency noted that Panama and Belize were registering an increase in cases, while Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua were reporting relatively few infections.
However, Etienne warned that this trend should be viewed with caution as hurricanes Eta and Iota may have impacted systems for recording Covid cases and there may also be many displaced people.
Regarding the situation in the south of the continent, Brazil and Colombia were the countries with the most new cases, and PAHO indicated that there was a worrying rise in infections in southern Brazil.