Santiago de Chile – Infections and deaths from the new coronavirus do not give truce in Latin America. Argentina and Chile continued to report a strong increase in cases despite their quarantine measures that could be expanded in the coming days.
While Argentina exceeded 40,000 cases and reached 1,000 deaths from COVID-19, in its neighbor in the Cone South —Chile— the situation seemed worse with reports of almost 250,000 infections and more than 7,000 deaths if we count the confirmed ones and those who were not tested in time. Both, however, are distant in the reports of the country most hit by the pandemic so far in the region, Brazil, where contagions exceed one million and deaths number almost 50,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Argentine authorities reported that they could extend the quarantine in the coming days, when more than three months of forced confinement have been completed in the country's capital and whose economic effects are more than notable, according to experts.
Despite having implemented Some of the longest quarantines in the world, the pandemic is still not considered controlled by the authorities studying measures of greater restriction in transport and other places in the capital, while they are evaluating returning even to a phase 1 quarantine, such as the the most restrictive of all.
95% of the 1,604 new cases detected in the last hours occurred in the country's metropolitan area, that is, in Buenos Aires and the Buenos Aires city, Carla Vizzotti, Argentina's secretary for Access to Health, said at a press conference on Sunday.
Authorities also fear an increase in infections after the massive protests on Saturday in several of the country's largest cities against the possible expropriation of the Vicentin company.
In neighboring Chile, the outlook is far from improving. The authorities announced 5,607 new cases on the day to make a total of 242,355 and 184 more deaths to add 4,479. To this figure must be added 3,069 probable deaths from COVID-19 reported the previous day by the Ministry of Health, although the institution reported that it will keep the two figures separate.
The country's main mining company, Codelco, announced the suspension of their activities after the contagions and the dead skyrocketed in Calama, a city strongly linked to mining activity and located almost 1,600 kilometers north of the capital. There a quarantine governs.
Chile is the largest copper producer in the world and the export of this mineral has an essential impact on its economy.
The mayor of Calama, Daniel Augusto, denounced in the national media that the public cemetery it is collapsed and private cemeteries are being used to bury the deceased.
The Ministry of Health restored the quarantine on Sunday in the cities of Antofagasta, Mejillones and the town of Tocopilla, all in the north of the country, and in the Antofagasta region, to which Calama also belongs.
At the moment, in Latin America there have been more than 1.9 million infections and more than 90,000 deaths. Brazil is the country hardest hit and where massive street protests continue to take place to protest against racism, such as those on Sunday in the capital Brasilia, where protests against and for the government of President Jair Bolsonaro also converged.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 8.8 million people and killed more than 465,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, which bases its data on reports from governments and the health authorities of each country.
In most people this virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that disappear in two to three weeks. But in some people, especially older adults and those with underlying health disorders, it can cause more serious illness and even death.