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Latin American Countries Are Struggling to Curb COVID-19 Coronavirus

Coronavirus related cases in Latin American countries have made highlights over the last couple of weeks. The cases are rapidly increasing to the point where respective government and medical officials are not in a position to do much about it. Mexico has recorded over 1.2 million active cases and more than 60,000 deaths thus far. “We are especially worried about Central and South America, where many countries are witnessing accelerating epidemics,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.

The WHO does not believe either Central or South America have reached peak transmission, meaning the number of people getting sick and dying might continue to rise.

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Medical officials dissuade returning back to normal too soon as they feel a second way may be on the brink of spreading.

Among the countries affected, the below stated are among the few to have been hit badly.

Brazil

Brazil has been in crisis mode since mid this year, the country records 645,771 Coronavirus cases and 35,026 deaths.

The country now has overtaken Italy to become the country with the third-highest deaths in the world and will likely surpass the United Kingdom soon.

Brazil has been conducting far less PCR tests on average as opposed to countries like the U.S. and UK hence, many cases end up undetected.

Photos: The coronavirus is surging in Brazil

The country’s Health Minister Coordinator stated that certain Covid-19 cases have likely been recorded as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, due to the state’s low Covid-19 testing capacity.

A study released by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul believes Brazil would reach 1 million cases and 50,000 deaths by June 20.

Despite the concerns portrayed the country has gradually reopened its cities.

Rio de Janeiro is allowing non-essential businesses like churches, car shops and decoration stores to accept customers once again.

Mexico

Mexico’s situation isn’t too good either, with the country recording its worst week of the outbreak, both in confirmed cases and deaths.

More than 1,000 deaths were noted in the country within a single day for the first time and that too for three consecutive days.

The country currently has begun reopening its roads and cities as well despite government warnings. Deputy Health Secretary Hugo López Gatell, who leads Mexico’s Covid-19 response, has urged Mexicans to stay home. He has stressed that the country is not out of the woods, even if some sectors of the economy begin to reopen.

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But President Andrés Manuel López Obrador offered a different message.

“Don’t steal, don’t rob, don’t betray, and that helps a lot with not getting the Coronavirus,” he said Thursday. He also told people to socially distance when they could, and wash their hands.

Mexico has recorded 110,026 cases and 13,170 deaths. But given extremely low testing rates in the country, health officials have said the true number of cases is likely well into the millions.

Peru

People of Peru were seen this week lining up for hours to get their oxygen tanks refilled, however, when they got to the top of the queue a shocking surprise awaited them. The prices of the refill had skyrocketed to a point where the sellers were making substantial profits.

“Our mission is to avoid the development of a black market that is mercantile and uses a pandemic to abuse people,” said Cesar Chaname, a spokesperson for Peru’s public health agency.

Peru recorded 187,400 active cases, making the country the second-highest in the region behind Brazil.

The country has far better testing rates than other countries in the region, something experts say helps understand how bad the outbreak there truly is.

Residents stand in a line at a soup kitchen on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, on Friday, May 29.

Peruvian officials announced that they’d be enforcing the second phase of its reopening plan, where businesses like clothing stores and hair salons can operate again.

President Martin Vizcarra feels the moves would roughly enable 80% of the country’s economy to be open soon.

“We can’t support 100% of the country’s needs with just 50% of the economy’s output,” he said.

Uruguay

Despite some dismal situations faced by many Latin American countries there, however, are some success stories as well. Uruguay, being one of those ‘stories’ has managed to curb calamities of the virus to an extent.

Uruguay reported just 834 active cases with 23 fatalities in total. Experts feel the quick response and early measures taken by the country has ensured a rather successful outcome.

Consequently, there is less risk as Uruguay begins to reopen its economy.

The country began easing restrictions in early May. On June 1 primary and secondary rural education started again in more than 400 schools, and businesses are also gradually being allowed to reopen.

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