PAHO Director Dr Carissa F. Etienne says nearly 570,000 health workers in the Americas have fallen ill with COVID-19, and more than 2,500 have succumbed to the virus.
During a media conference today, she revealed that the region has the highest number of health care workers infected in the world.
In the U.S. and Mexico – which have some of the highest case counts in the world – Dr Etienne says health workers represent one in every seven cases.
She adds that these two countries also account for nearly 85% of all COVID deaths among health care workers in the region.
To combat these trends, PAHO is calling on countries to ensure that health workers have sufficient supplies of PPE and are properly trained in infection control to avoid risking their own health.
Countries are also urged to ensure safe working conditions and fair pay for health workers.
The Americas account for majority of new COVID-19 deaths worldwide
According to PAHO, the Americas accounted for 64% of the new deaths reported globally over the prior two months, numbering more than 213,000 new deaths, though it only makes up about 13% of the global population.
Its epidemiological update notes that the majority of the new deaths globally were reported by Brazil, with 19%, the United States of America, with 16%; India, comprising 13%; and Mexico, making up 12%.
The number of cases worldwide has increased by 158%, with some 14 million additional cases, since the PAHO report published June 23rd.
Deaths rose by 72%, comprising some 300,000 additional deaths.