COVID-19 death toll in the Americas reaches 1 million people, says PAHO director

FILE PHOTO: Funeral and crematorium employees work on a coffin carrying the body of a person who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) before its cremation, as the number of deaths continue to rise due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at San Isidro crematory in Mexico City, Mexico May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Over one million people in the Americas have now died from complications from COVID-19, the head of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa Etienne, said on Wednesday.

There is growing pressure on hospital capacity throughout North America. In some U.S. states, nearly 80% of ICU beds are being used to treat COVID-19 patients, and similar rates are seen in many Mexican states, she warned.

The hospital situation in Brazil is particularly worrisome, with three-quarters of ICU beds occupied in many Brazilian states, she said.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Chris Reese)

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