Hospitalizations and deaths of younger people linked to Covid-19 are on the rise across the Americas, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) has warned, adding that the situation in Brazil is particularly alarming.
“In Brazil, mortality rates have doubled among those younger than 39, quadrupled among those in their 40s and tripled for those in their 50s between December 2020 and March 2021,” PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said on Wednesday during a weekly media briefing.
In 🇧🇷, mortality rates have doubled among those younger than 39, quadrupled among those in their 40s, and tripled for those in their 50s between Dec. 2020 – March 2021.This is tragic and the consequences are dire for our families, our societies, and our future 🌎@DirOPSPAHO
— PAHO/WHO (@pahowho) May 5, 2021
However, Brazil is not the only nation facing such difficulties. In Chile, hospitalization rates among people aged under 39 diagnosed with Covid-19 rose by more than 70% over the past few months, according to the health watchdog.
The organization also reported infection rates increasing dramatically in the Guyanas and across Argentina and Colombia.
Costa Rica is also said to be reporting “record-high” infections. In Anguilla – a small British Overseas Territory which includes several isles in the Caribbean – nearly 70 percent of the total number of Covid-19 cases recorded since the start of the pandemic were reported in the last 10 days alone.
In some areas of the US, more people in their 20s are now being hospitalized for Covid-19 than people in their 70s.
According to the UN health agency, Covid-19 now poses a significant threat to people of all age groups. “Adults of all ages – including young people – are becoming seriously ill. Many of them are dying,” Etienne told journalists.
Countries need to further increase their intensive-care-unit capacity if the infection rates continue to rise at their current pace, the PAHO warned, adding that nearly 40% of global Covid-19 deaths registered last week were reported in the Americas. Younger people also might remain in hospitals for a longer period of time – sometimes for weeks, although they still have a better chance of survival than older patients, the organization said in a statement.
It also pointed out that vaccinating against Covid-19 will not prevent infection rates from further increasing in the short term. The PAHO called on governments in the region to focus on prevention, contact-tracing and testing to stem the spread of the virus.
“While vaccines are being rolled out as fast as possible, they are not a short-term solution – we can’t rely on vaccines to bring down infections when there’s not enough vaccines to go around,” Etienne said.
More than 1.3 million new infections were reported across the Americas in the last week, and more than 36,000 people died from the disease or complications related to Covid-19.
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