The coronavirus pandemic has caused the deaths of 100,409 people across Latin America, with few signs of the outbreak easing in a region marked by crowded cities and high poverty levels.
The region has seen an alarming spike in cases and deaths even as the tide of infection recedes in Europe and parts of Asia. The number of infections, at 2.2 million, has doubled in less than a month.
Brazil – Latin America’s largest and most populous nation – this week became only the second country to reach the 50,000 deaths milestone, after the United States.
A cemetery employee works in a section where COVID-19 victims were buried at a cemetery in São Paulo, Brazil. The South American nation registered an additional 1,374 deaths on Tuesday from the virus and 39,436 new cases, pushing the death toll from COVID-19 to 52,645 people in Latin America’s biggest economy. At least 1,145,906 people have been infected.
A man has his temperature checked in Mexico as a preventive measure against the coronavirus. Mexico is second behind Brazil with 23,377 COVID-19 deaths
Medical staff wearing protective gear check on patient Magdalena Torres (right) in the women’s ward of a COVID-19 hospital at Military Camp 1 in Mexico State
The South American nation registered an additional 1,374 deaths on Tuesday from the virus and 39,436 new cases, pushing the death toll from the novel coronavirus to 52,645 people in Latin America’s biggest economy. At least 1,145,906 people have been infected.
Mexico on Tuesday also registered a fresh one-day record for confirmed infections.
Mexico, the worst hit-nation in the region after Brazil in terms of overall figures, on Tuesday registered 6,288 new infections and 793 additional deaths. That brought the totals for the country to 191,410 cases and 23,377 deaths.
Beachgoers enjoy Arpoador beach amid the coronavirus outbreak in Rio de Janeiro
Mexican wrestlers wait to receive food and aid given their vulnerability due to the crisis stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been ordered by a court to wear a mask in public after the right-wing populist attended political rallies without one. Brazil ranks second in the world with 1,145,906 confirmed cases and 52,645 deaths
Health worker Ulises Cardenas Santana attempts to get a sample for COVID-19 testing at a market in Mexico City
CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOTALS IN LATIN AMERICA
As of Wednesday, 100,409 people in Latin America had died of the coronavirus pandemic. The deadly virus has killed 478,289 people across the globe.
Brazil – 52,545
Mexico – 23,377
Peru – 8,404
Chile – 4,505
Ecuador – 4,274
Colombia – 2,524
Argentina – 1,085
Bolivia – 846
Dominican Republic -675
Guatemala – 582
Panama – 536
Honduras – 405
Puerto Rico – 149
El Salvador -119
Haiti – 89
Cuba – 85
Nicaragua – 74
Venezuela – 35
Uruguay – 25
Guadeloupe – 14
Martinique – 14
Paraguay – 14
French Guiana – 8
Saint Martin – 3
Belize – 3
Peru has 260,810 confirmed cases of the coronavirus so far, making it the second hardest hit country in Latin America after Brazil. The Andean country has reported 8,404 deaths, the third-highest total in the region.
The true scale of the coronavirus damage to Latin America is likely to be much deeper, experts say, as countries across the region have failed to implement rigorous testing programs.
Hugo López-Gatell, Mexico’s deputy health minister and the country’s coronavirus tsar, on Tuesday signaled that his nation is in for a long battle against coronavirus.
‘We must learn to live with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and permanently incorporate hygiene and prevention practices into the new reality,’ said López-Gatell, urging the Mexican society to adapt its response to the threat.
On top of creaking healthcare systems in many countries across the region, Latin America’s battle against the virus has been hamstrung by widespread poverty and many workers living a hand-to-mouth existence in the informal sector that has hindered quarantine efforts.
The leaders of regional heavyweights Brazil and Mexico have also been chastised for not taking the virus seriously enough and for pushing for a reopening of their economies before the virus has been tamed.
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro once compared the virus to ‘a little flu’ and has opposed the strict social distancing measures that were issued by state governors.
A Brazilian judge on Tuesday ordered the Brazilian far-right leader to wear a mask in public after the right-wing populist attended political rallies without one in the middle of the world’s second-worst coronavirus outbreak.
The virus also appears to be on the rise in Central America, where Guatemala on Tuesday recorded more than 700 new infections for the first time. An additional 35 deaths were registered in Guatemala, taking its deaths total to 582.
Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández was improving after being placed on oxygen a day earlier, according to a government statement released Wednesday.
Hernández tested positive for COVID-19 last week and a day later was hospitalized with pneumonia. His wife Ana García de Hernández, had also tested positive. Doctors said she continued following medical advice at home.
Doctors said that on Tuesday his pneumonia appeared to be worsening with greater inflammation in his lungs and falling oxygen levels. A decision was made to give him oxygen.
Honduras has reported nearly 14,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections and more than 400 deaths.
Infections have been increasing since the government started the partial reopening of the economy June 8. Infections have more than doubled since then.