Latin America has begun to resume normal social life at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic still needs major control interventions, World Health Organization Regional Director Carissa Etienne said on Wednesday.
Coronavirus cases in Colombia’s border area with Venezuela have increased tenfold in the past two weeks, Etienne said at a virtual briefing in Washington with other directors of the Pan American Health Organization.
Mortality is rising in some parts of Mexico, and similar trends are being seen in Ecuador, Costa Rica and Bolivia, with similar patterns emerging in parts of Argentina, she said.
“Although the whole world is vying to develop new tools for the prevention and treatment of COVID-1
“We need to be aware that opening too early gives this virus more room to spread and puts our populations at greater risk. Look no further than Europe,” she said.
Outbreak: Anxious mortality rates among health workers
Etienne said governments should monitor travel very closely because opening up to tourism could lead to failures. This has happened in the Caribbean, where several countries that have had virtually no cases have seen leaps in tourism resume.
According to Reuters, Latin America has reported about 8.4 million coronavirus cases and more than 314,000 deaths, both of which are the highest in any region.
Reuters news agency