The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) wants countries in the Caribbean and Latin America to protect their health care workers, who have died in the thousands from COVID-19..
According to PAHO the virus has so far claimed some 9,000 health workers since the pandemic started.
And according to the organisation, female nurses accounted for the majority of deaths.
PAHO also disclosed that the virus has infected at least at least 1.8 million health workers in Latin America and the Caribbean.
However, reports from 18 countries in the region show that about 1.5 million health workers are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
In view of the risk posed to health workers, PAHO Director Dr. Carissa F. Etienne has urged countries to protect them.
“We urge countries to make the most of limited doses by protecting health workers – including the 8.4 million nurses working in our region – first,” Etienne said.
She said the virus is accelerating in the border zones of many countries.
In Central America, authorities report rising infection along the Honduran and Costa Rican regions that border Nicaragua as well as in border regions of Guatemala and El Salvador.
In South America, cases are rising in the regions of Bolivia and Guyana that border Brazil.
In Colombia, where infections have been rising for weeks, an accelerated increase is expected following a week of protests.
Cuba is driving rising infection in the Caribbean, although smaller countries like Trinidad and Tobago are experiencing significant increases.
In total, 1.2 million people were infected with COVID-19 in the past week in the Americas, and nearly 34,000 died from the disease.