COVID-19: The Omicron wave sweeps across South America and the Caribbean

The Omicron wave is sweeping South America and the Caribbean, a region that has doubled the record for new daily COVID-19 cases, according to an AFP tally from official reports provided by health authorities.

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An average of 304,000 cases were detected per day between January 7 and 13, double the record set before the current wave (155,000 daily cases between May 28 and June 3, 2021).

Infections increased by 126% over the past seven days compared to the previous week.

Argentina (45 million people), with another 139,853 new cases recorded on Friday (total of 693,2972), alone accounts for nearly half of the infections in the region.

Peru, a country of 33 million people with the highest mortality rate in the world relative to its population, is about to cross 2.5 million cases.

Pollution rates have also skyrocketed in Brazil, the most populous country with a population of 212 million, and the world’s second deadliest country with more than 620,000 deaths. On Thursday, 97,986 cases were registered in just 24 hours, compared to 5,844 two weeks ago.

The number of deaths is also increasing in Latin America and the Caribbean, but at a slower rate: 621 daily deaths were recorded between January 7 and 13 in the region, an increase of 44% compared to the previous week.

That number is well below the record set for the week of April 6-12, 2021, with 5,548 daily deaths.

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