With over 100,000 deaths, Latin America is the new epicenter of the Covid pandemic.
Latin America is the new world epicenter of the Covid pandemic. The announcement was made by the World Health Organization along with the Pan American Health Organization. The figures are impressive: at least 143,000 victims on the continent and 2.4 million contagion: “Now is the time to act. The lives and well-being of millions of people depend on what we will be able to do from now on,” said Carissa Etienne, director of PAHO.
Brazil in crisis for Covid
Etienne’s warning comes in the face of easing proposals made by some states. Of all, Brazil, which remains the most affected country on the continent. Official figures show 390,000 positive cases and almost 25,000 deaths, but the situation is expected to worsen. PAHO’s studies outline a dramatic scenario: about a thousand victims a day for a total of 120,000 deaths in August.
Yet President Jair Bolsonaro criticizes the exaggerations on the scale of the crisis and does not give up on being seen in gatherings: the last case on May 26, when he showed up in the crowd in Brasilia eating a hot dog and posing for photos without using the mask. Gradually Bolsonaro is reopening activities deemed “essential” for the country, but several state governors maintain the lockdown line.
Argentina and Uruguay: Latin America reopens
In Argentina, Covid-19’s first death was on 7 March. Today the country has 13,000 confirmed cases and 490 deaths. The government has opted for a staggered recovery, starting from the least affected provinces: the country is suffering from a serious economic situation, to the point that a plan has been launched for 13 billion euros to support the production machine and boost employment. With 958 infections and 22 deaths, Uruguay is one of the countries that has not imposed a general lockdown. Schools are reopening while the borders with Brazil remain closed.
In Paraguay, quarantine is being relaxed at intervals of about twenty days. With 877 confirmed positive cases and 11 deaths, the government decided to postpone municipal elections by one year. Colombia also gradually reopens. The state has 23,000 infections and 776 deaths. The lockdown is due to end on 31 May, but some sectors have been divided since 27 April. To deal with the economic downse, the country has requested access to the International Monetary Fund’s credit line for a total of 11 billion dollars.
Not only Brazil: the pandemic in the United States
The emergency from Covid-19 also affects Chile, where there have been 77,000 cases and at least 806 deaths. In March, the president, Sebastian Pinera, declared the “state of catastrophe”.” The army controls compliance, even in light of social protests in the country. Among the countries most affected is Bolivia, with over 7,000 infections and 274 deaths. The country’s total lockdown will end on May 31st. The coronavirus pandemic has drawn a drama in Ecuador.
With 37,656 confirmed infections and more than 3,000 deaths, the country is in total lockdown and at risk of collapse. For this reason, the executive led by President Lenin Moreno has proposed a law of “humanitarian support”, which provides for the payment of an extra tax to the most needy by the most affluent classes. It was also a “permanent emergency” in Venezuela, with over a thousand cases of contagion and 11 deaths, which prompted researchers to find sudden, if dubious, cures. For this reason, Unhcr has called for the suspension of sanctions in Caracas to mitigate the devastating effects of the pandemic.