PAHO indicates that more than half the countries and territories in the Americas have reported COVID-19 case increases of 20 per cent more from 19 to 25 December 2021, warning that increased virus circulation amid greater personal contact during holiday and vacation season will lead to more cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks. PAHO notes that the Omicron Variant of Concern has now been reported in 27 countries and territories.
Argentina is reporting the largest number of new cases in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a staggering 42,000 cases reported on 29 December alone, their highest ever daily case total. Daily deaths have come in under 30 to 40 since October. In Central America, only Panama and Belize are reporting case increases, while Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay are reporting rising numbers in South America. Brazil, notably, is reporting a decrease in cases.
Cases are also rising in the Caribbean, with the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Dutch Caribbean territories showing significant increases, especially in Aruba and Curaçao.
SOUTH AMERICA: FLOODING
Heavy seasonal rains and flooding are affecting 7 of Bolivia’s 9 departments, affecting about 10,000 families (approximately 60,000 people), of which 1,000 are likely to require assistance, and leaving 15 dead. The flooding has also caused about US$40 million in damage to thousands of hectares of farmland. National and departmental authorities in Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Potosí, Santa Cruz and Tarija are currently responding to the various effects of the flooding, as well as continuing rescue and evacuation operations.
The 26 December collapse of a pair of dams in the eastern state of Bahía, coupled with weeks of intermittent rains and flooding, has affected more than 511,500 people, left 25 dead, displaced 32,700 people to official shelters and another 57,500 now staying in other homes. State leadership is calling the situation the worst disaster in Bahía’s history. The Government's response task force, consisting of armed forces, firefighting and police personnel, is delivering of supplies and assistance to affected areas, some of which remain cut off due to damage to bridges and highways.
Halfway into the December/January rainy season, significant rainfall has led to flooding in the capital of Georgetown in Region 4. Members of the Cabinet-level Task Force on Flooding have visited several locations across the densely populated capital and adjacent Region 3, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, where several homes remain flooded. The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and local authorities distributed 3,000 cleaning kits to the affected communities in Region 3. The national weather service warns additional rainfall expected in coming weeks is likely to lead to flooding in low-lying areas.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.