'Tragic': PAHO warns against increasing covid cases of young people in Latin America

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: May 06, 2021, 02:02 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Chile Photograph:( Reuters )

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She also highlighted the growth of hospitalisation rates of people under 39 by 70 per cent in Chile in the past few months

Coronavirus is taking more young lives than ever across Latin American and the Caribbean, Pan American Health Organisation’s chief has warned.

The region has already been struggling to control the widespread of the deadly coronavirus and the situation might get worse in the next few months, warned Dr Carissa F Etienne, PAHO’s Dominican director.

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Latin America is home to nearly eight per cent of the global population but has lost more than a third of all Covid deaths, majority of which have been young people.

"Today, more Latin American countries than ever before are reporting more than 1,000 cases a day, and our hospitals are fuller than ever … Look around intensive care units now across our region and you will see that they are filled not only with elderly patients but also with younger people," Etienne said.

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She also highlighted the growth of hospitalisation rates of people under 39 by 70 per cent in Chile in the past few months.

"In Brazil, mortality rates have doubled among those younger than 39. It has quadrupled among those in their 40s and tripled for those in their 50s between December 2020 and March 2021," Etienne said. "This is tragic, and the consequences are dire for our families, our societies and our future."

Vaccination drive has also been immensely slow in these regions which has worsened the situation. PAHO is urging locals to maintain social distance and wear masks, in absence of proper vaccine drives.

"We know what it takes to get there: social distancing, the wearing of masks, avoiding gathering in closed spaces are the key to reduced transmission, especially as the dangerous variants of concern circulate," Etienne requested.

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