More than one million people have died from COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean, said the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa F. Etienne.
"The lives of one million people have been cut short by COVID-19. This is a tragic milestone for everyone in the region," Etienne said Friday, noting that "this pandemic is far from over, and it is hitting Latin America hard".
Carissa F. Etienne lamented that vaccines have so far reached only 3% of the population and that most countries in the region depend on fluctuations in global stocks to receive them.
According to data released Friday by PAHO, "1,001,781 people have died from SARS-CoV-2 in Latin America and the Caribbean. Almost 89% of these deaths occurred in five countries: Brazil (44.3%), Mexico (22.1%), Colombia (8.3%), Argentina (7.3%) and Peru (6.7%)".
"Three per cent of all deaths occurred in Central America and one per cent in the Caribbean," according to PAHO.
"The region is an epicentre of COVID-19 suffering. It should also be an epicentre for vaccination," stressed Etienne, who recalled that "more than 153.5 million people have been vaccinated in the Americas, but only 21.6% of them are in Latin America and the Caribbean.