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Some 1.9 million minors have contracted coronavirus so far this year in the American continent, compared to 1.5 million in 2020, reported this Wednesday the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The director of the OPS, Carissa Etienne, pointed out during a press conference that the needs of children and adolescents “have not received the attention they deserve”.

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He warned that minors who are not yet eligible for vaccination in many countries now represent “a larger percentage of covid hospitalizations and even deaths”.

Etienne affirmed that the pandemic is affecting the health of minors “in other ways”As they are not complying with their annual medical check-ups or receiving regular vaccinations due to widespread interruptions in health services.

In addition, he said that half of young people have experienced greater stress and anxiety throughout the pandemic, while cases of teenage pregnancy have suffered “one of the largest increases”In more than a decade in the region.

Etinne drew attention to the fact that children on this continent have missed more school days than those in any other region: “They risk becoming the generation that lost the health, education and social opportunities they needed to reach their full potential.”.

For this reason, he urged the countries to “act urgently“So that no child or adolescent”stay behind”.

On the other hand, Etienne reported that the continent registered 1.4 million new infections during the last week, which represented an increase of 20%, as well as 23,300 deaths related to COVID-19.

The person in charge of the OPS He stressed that there is an increase in infections in North America, especially in Canada and the United States, a country that accounts for more than 100,000 new infections daily for the first time since last January.

Costa Rica, Guatemala and Belize, in Central America, are also facing an increase in positive cases and hospitals are “completely saturated with patients”.

The Caribbean experiences a slowdown in infections, with the exception of Grenada, Barbados, Bermuda and Jamaica; and South America maintains the downward trend in the numbers of infected and deceased due to the virus.

Regarding vaccination, the director of the OPS considered a “hito”That more than 30% of the people in Latin America and the Caribbean are fully immunized, although he admitted that in countries like Jamaica the coverage is barely 5%, while in Nicaragua it is less than 4% and in Haiti it is about below 1%.

Etienne said that more than 4.6 million doses arrived in the last week, including donations from Spain, the United States and Canada destined for various countries.

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