Coronavirus en América Latina: “Sudamérica se ha convertido en un nuevo epicentro del coronavirus”, alerta la OMS / South America is a ‘new epicenter’ of the coronavirus pandemic, WHO says

El acelerado aumento de los casos de covid-19 en Sudamérica está convirtiendo a la región en el “nuevo epicentro” de la pandemia del nuevo coronavirus.

Así lo apuntó el directo del Programa de Emergencias Sanitarias de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), Mike Ryan, al hablar este viernes sobre la evolución de la enfermedad por el mundo.

“En cierto sentido, Sudamérica se ha convertido en un nuevo epicentro de la enfermedad”, dijo Ryan.

“Vemos muchos países sudamericanos que tienen una cantidad de casos en aumento y hay gran preocupación en estos países, pero el más afectado es Brasil”, agregó.

Según las estadísticas de la OMS, los casos confirmados en el continente americano son 2,22 millones, de los cuales645.000 son de la región de América Latina y el Caribe.

En tanto, 1,53 millones corresponden a Estados Unidos y 80.500 a Canadá.

Brasil -el país más poblado de América Latina- es la nación más afectada al contabilizar hasta este viernes más de 310.000 casos confirmados de coronavirus y más de20.000 muertes.

Le sigue Perú, que con 104.000 casos (según las cifras consolidadas de la OMS, que las autoridades nacionales elevan a 108.000) es la duodécima nación más afectada del mundo.

Chile supera los 61.000 casos confirmados, pero las muertes en ese país son significativamente menores (631) que en otros países de la región.

Ecuador, con 35.000 casos confirmados y casi 3.000 muertes hasta este viernes, es otro de los países más golpeados por la pandemia del SARS-CoV-2.

En contra de la cloroquina
Ryan sostuvo que la OMS no respalda la decisión del gobierno de Brasil de utilizar la cloroquina y la hidroxicloroquina para el tratamiento de covid-19.

Esto debido a que no hay pruebas científicas que establezcan que es un medicamento seguro y eficaz contra esta enfermedad.

“Las evidencias clínicas no respaldan el uso de este medicamento y no se recomienda al menos hasta que no se tengan los resultados claros de los ensayos clínicos”, comentó.

El Ministerio de Salud de Brasil publicó este miércoles, por orden del presidente Jair Bolsonaro, un protocolo para el tratamiento de pacientes que ampara el uso de la cloroquina y de la hidroxicloroquina en casos leves.

La cloroquina es un medicamento ampliamente conocido como antipalúdico y para tratar enfermedades reumáticas, y la hidroxicloroquina es su derivado (tienen los mismos componentes), pero se considera que es mejor tolerado.

Ryan sostuvo que no hay evidencias de que fármacos como la cloroquina sean el mejor tratamiento. FOTO: REUTERS

South America is a ‘new epicenter’ of the coronavirus pandemic, WHO says

  • South America has now become an epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, about six months after the new virus emerged on the other side of the world in Wuhan, China, the World Health Organization declared Friday.
  • Brazil has more cases than any other country in South America, according to the WHO’s most recent daily situation report.
  • Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, emphasized the importance for all countries to protect vulnerable populations.

The epicenter of the global Covid-19 pandemic has shifted to South America as cases in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo explode six months after the new coronavirus emerged on the other side of the world in Wuhan, China, the World Health Organization declared Friday.

“We’ve seen many South American countries with increasing numbers of cases and clearly there’s a concern across many of those countries, but certainly the most affected is Brazil at this point,” Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said at a news briefing from the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

“In a sense, South America has become a new epicenter for the disease,” he said.

Brazil has more cases than any other country in South America, according to the WHO’s most recent daily situation report. Ryan said confirmed cases in the country are now approaching 300,000 and Covid-19 has now killed nearly 19,000 people in Brazil.

Ryan noted that the government of Brazil has approved the “broader” use of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which U.S. President Donald Trump has said he is currently taking to defend against infection from Covid-19. Several studies have cast doubt on the efficacy of the drug as a treatment for the disease. A study published earlier Friday showed that patients who were treated with the drug had a higher risk of death than those who didn’t take it.

“The current clinical evidence does not support the widespread use of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of Covid-19, not until the trials are completed and we have clearer results,” Ryan said.

The majority of cases in Brazil are in the Sao Paulo region, Ryan said, adding that the states of Rio de Janeiro, Ceara, Amazonas and Pernambuco have been affected as well. He said the WHO is actively providing assistance to the government of Brazil.

“In terms of attack rates, the highest attack rates are actually in Amazonas,” Ryan said. “About 490 persons infected per 100,000 population, which is quite a high attack rate.”

The state of Amozonas, which is among Brazil’s most rural states, warned last month that its health system was overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, emphasized the importance for all countries to protect at-risk populations.

“All countries have vulnerable populations and we are seeing a greater impact in terms of disease, disease severity, poor outcomes in groups that are vulnerable,” she said. “It highlights the inequalities that we see in vulnerable groups.”

In March, the WHO declared that the epicenter of the virus had left China, where it first emerged, and arrived in Europe. The virus has now infected more 5.1 million people around the world and killed at least 335,063 people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. By William Feuer