BRASILIA, Oct 27 (Reuters) – COVID-19 is slowly retreating across most of North, Central and South America, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday, reporting that last week the continent’s death and infection figures were the lowest in over a year.
Many of the larger Caribbean islands are seeing downward trends, including Cuba, the site of a major months-long COVID-19 outbreak.
However, Paraguay saw a doubling of coronavirus cases in the last week and Belize a sharp jump in COVID-related deaths, the regional branch of the World Health Organization said in a briefing.
“We have reason to be optimistic, but we must remain vigilant,” PAHO Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa said.
He urged authorities to continue to implement public health measures like mask-wearing, social distancing and limiting large gatherings, especially as many countries are still struggling to expand vaccine coverage.
Nearly 44% of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have completed their COVID-19 immunizations, thanks largely to donations, made bilaterally or through the WHO-led COVAX facility.