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Epidemiological Alert: COVID-19 among indigenous peoples in the Americas, 5 August 2020

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This Epidemiological Update on COVID-19 focuses on the situation among indigenous peoples in the Americas, particularly noting an increase in cases and deaths in indigenous communities. An initial summary of the overall COVID-19 situation in the Region of the Americas is also provided.

General COVID-19 Situation Summary in the Americas

Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Region of the Americas1 and until 2 August 2020, a cumulative total of 9,484,066 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 359,376 deaths, have been reported.

Between 2 July and 2 August 2020, there were 4,185,187 additional confirmed cases of COVID19, including 107,474 additional deaths, reported in the Region of the Americas. This represents a 77% relative increase in cases and a 42% relative increase in deaths. The largest relative increases in cases and deaths occurred in the subregions of Central America (130% increase in cases and 142% increase in deaths), the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean Islands (98% increase in cases and 48% increase in deaths), and South America (82% increase in cases and 67% increase in deaths).

The highest proportions of new cases were reported in the Bahamas (476%), Costa Rica (385%), the United States Virgin Islands (376%), and Saint Pierre and Miquelon (300%), while the highest proportions of new deaths were reported in Costa Rica (863%), Venezuela (213%), and Colombia (198%).

Between 2 July and 2 August 2020, seven countries and territories modified their COVID-19 transmission scenario, observing an increase in the transmission of cases, in order from greatest to least intensity in: Costa Rica (from clusters of cases to community transmission), Sint Maarten (from no cases to community transmission), Suriname (from clusters of cases to community transmission), the United States Virgin Islands (from clusters of cases to community transmission), Trinidad and Tobago (from sporadic cases to clusters of cases), Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba (from no cases to sporadic cases)3, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon (from no cases to sporadic cases).

In contrast, a decrease in the intensity of transmission was observed in the Cayman Islands, for which the transmission scenario was modified from clusters of cases to sporadic cases.

As of 2 August 2020, Anguilla, the Falkland Islands, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, had not reported cases between 2 July and 2 August.

It should be noted that there is continuous variation in the transmission scenario for each country and territory and at the local level; therefore, the situation as of August 2 is subject to change in subsequent days.

In all geographic subdivisions within the Region, the increasing trend continues, both in the number of cases and number of deaths (Figure 1).