WHO says the Americas are new epicenter of coronavirus pandemic


FILE PHOTO: Brazilian army officers wearing protective gears arrive to disinfect the shelter Stella Maris Complex for elderly people, homeless and patients with mental disorders managed by the Rio de Janeiro City Hall amid concerns of the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 14, 2020. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) considers the Americas the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and now is not the time for countries to ease restrictions, officials said in a Tuesday briefing.

Carissa Etienne, WHO director for the Americas and head of the Pan American Health Organization, said via videoconference that outbreaks were accelerating in countries such as Brazil, where the number of deaths reported in the last week was the highest in the world for a 7-day period since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Additional reporting by Diego Ore in Mexico City; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama



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