WHO warns Latin America reopening too soon amid COVID-19 risk

WHO warns Latin America reopening too soon amid COVID-19 risk
Men get tested for COVID-19 aboard a trajinera, one of the colorful wooden boats popular with tourists and revellers, in the Xochimilco district of Mexico City. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: World Health Organization Regional Director Carissa Etienne said on Wednesday, Latin America has started to resume normal social and public life at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic still requires major control interventions,

In the last two weeks, coronavirus cases in Colombia’s border area with Venezuela have increased tenfold, Etienne said in a virtual briefing from Washington with other Pan American Health Organization directors.

Death rates are climbing in parts of Mexico, and similar trends are seen in Costa Rica, Bolivia and Ecuador with similar patterns also emerging in areas of Argentina, she said.

Etienne warned that although the entire world is racing to develop new tools to get rid of coronavirus pandemic, a safe and effective vaccine that can be manufactured and delivered at scale is not around the corner,”

She said: “We must be clear that opening up too early gives this virus more room to spread and puts our populations at greater risk. Look no further than Europe.”

Etienne urged governments to monitor travel very carefully because reopening to tourism can lead to setbacks. That has happened in the Caribbean, where several countries that had virtually no Cocid-19 cases have experienced spikes as tourism resumed.

Latin America has recorded around 8.4 million coronavirus cases, According to a Reuters tally, and over 314,000 deaths, both figures being the highest of any region.

You may read: WHO warns ‘very serious situation in Europe’