The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) yesterday asked Latin American countries “not to open too quickly” and thus put an end to the containment measures, as this could end the advantage obtained over COVID-19 in the last two months. .

“We must be careful. Do not open too fast, or risk a resurgence of COVID-19 that could erase the advantage gained in recent months. Consider a geographic approach to transmission-based locking and unlocking in specific local settings.” , PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said in a press conference call.

Etienee expressed herself like this after being concerned about the growing number of infections reported right now in Latin America, since the number of new cases accounted for in the region during the past week accounted for more than a third of the total increase in infections worldwide.

“Just last week there were 732,000 new cases worldwide, and of these, more than 250,000 new cases occurred in Latin American countries. It is a serious concern that should serve as a wake-up call to redouble our efforts,” said the PAHO Director.

And, according to the organization, in America there are already 2.9 million cases – most of them in the US – almost half a million more than those reported last week, when PAHO will declare the continent as the epicenter of the pandemic.

For all these reasons, Etienne advised Latin American leaders to “think twice before lifting the measures of social distancing.”

Likewise, Marcos Espinal, director of the organization’s Communicable Diseases Department, spoke about the possible consequences of the protests that have occurred since last week in countries such as Brazil and the United States, of which he said they are likely to “contribute to expanding the virus”.

“PAHO recommends that all countries avoid mass meetings because it is well demonstrated that they will contribute to spreading the virus. Especially in countries like Brazil, where the number of cases is increasing,” he replied when asked about the matter.

In fact, Espinal declared himself very concerned about the “delicate” situation in Brazil, where he assured that the growth of cases and deaths in recent weeks converges with the lack of hospital beds.

In addition, this doctor noted that the country “has not yet done sufficient tests” of COVID-19.

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