World News

COVID-19 cases still surging in the Americas, WHO warns

A woman and her dog are pictured in front a mural in honor to health workers as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Mexico City, Mexico November 7, 2020. REUTERS/Gustavo Graf

BRASILIA (Reuters) - COVID-19 cases are still surging in the Americas, averaging 150,000 a day in last week, the World Health Organization’s regional office said on Wednesday.

The United States continues to report record-breaking numbers, while parts of Canada and some states in Mexico, including the capital, are experiencing spikes, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) said.

The United States became the first country to surpass 10 million COVID-19 infections, according to a Reuters tally, as the third wave of the virus surges across the nation.

Other countries in the Americas are doing better. Argentina, Costa Rica and Jamaica have curbed the outbreak with effective contact tracing, and most Caribbean nations have avoided spikes by acting fast, PAHO Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa said.

Europe has been a cautionary tale on the danger of a resurgence of the virus when restrictive measures are lifted too quickly, he said in a briefing.

Central America is seeing a steady decrease in COVID-19 cases due to better control measures, the PAHO director said.

Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay have flattened their curves, and cases in Argentina are decreasing due to improved coordination between the federal and provincial governments, he said.

Chile’s effective epidemic surveillance systems allowed it to bounce back after unprecedented spikes earlier this year, Barbosa said.

In Cuba and Costa Rica, universal health care systems have ensured the COVID-19 pandemic never got out of control, he said.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by David Gregorio