April 23, 2021

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Latin America tests more openness after six months of pandemic and 310,000 deaths


Ecuadorian citizens walk with masks through the streets of Quito (Ecuador). Photo: EFE / José Jácome

Latin America began the week this Monday testing new reopening measures amid pressure to complete six months of a pandemic that, in addition to leaving 8.2 million infected and 310,000 dead in the region, has caused the collapse of jobs and the economy.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported this Monday that the accumulated cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began reached 28.9 million, while deaths amount to 921,801.

India, second in number of cases in the world (4.8 million), remains the country most affected by the number of daily infections, with more than 92,000, followed by the United States (more than 40,000), Brazil (33,500), Spain ( 12,000), Argentina (10,700) and France (9,600), according to WHO data.

AMERICA: ABOUT 15 MILLION CONTAGES AND MORE THAN 513,000 DEATHS

Despite the rebound in India, America continues to be the most devastated region in the world by the pandemic and, in fact, 6 countries on the continent are among the top ten in the world in number of cases: the United States is the nation with the most infected ( 6.5 million) and deaths (more than 194,200), third is Brazil and followed by Peru (5), Colombia (6), Mexico (7) and Argentina (10th place).

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, within Latin America, Brazil reports 4.3 million infected and more than 132,000 deaths, followed by Peru (more than 733,800 cases and 30,812 deaths) and Colombia (about 716,000 sick and almost 23,000 deaths).

Behind them are Mexico (more than 668,000 cases and 70,800 deaths), Argentina (about 555,500 infected and 11,400 deaths) and Chile (about 434,700 infections and 12,000 deaths).

With this, America accumulates around 15 million infected and more than 513,000 deaths. And of that figure, the Latin American and Caribbean region contributes 8.24 million cases (28.33% of the global total) and more than 310,000 deaths.

The continent also continues to experience the highest mortality, especially in Brazil and the United States, with 814 and 803 deaths in the last day, respectively, reported to the WHO. And in the world, Mexico (421) and Colombia (216) continue in daily mortality.

As for Central America, the worst scenario is presented by Guatemala, which has also just completed a semester since it detected its first case of coronavirus and to date has some 3,000 deaths from the disease, the highest figure in that subregion.

ONE STEP FORWARD TO REOPENING

This Monday, a study by the Santiago Chamber of Commerce (CCS) warned that Peru (39%), Costa Rica (21%) and Chile (21%) are the countries in the world that lost the highest percentage of employment between March and July of this year as a consequence of the pandemic. They are joined in the region, with lower rates, Colombia (12%), Brazil (10%) and Argentina (7%).

The report emphasizes that “the common factor in the evolution of the labor markets has been the loss of jobs from the contagion containment measures”, which is why the region continues to attempt a staggered reopening to face the devastating crisis.

In this sense, Panama, which reports more than 100,000 cases and exceeds 2,000 deaths from the coronavirus, suspended the restriction of mobility by gender since Monday and relaxed the curfew established to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Also Ecuador, which accumulates 119,000 cases and 11,000 deaths from coronavirus, entered a new regulatory order this Monday, in which the imposition of restrictions falls on local governments, while the productive sectors demand fewer obstacles to their efforts to reactivate the economy.

And on the same road, Paraguay (27,818 infections and 525 deaths) opened passenger air traffic today with two “bubble flights” with Uruguay, limited to businessmen from both countries and within a pilot plan with a view to the resumption of all routes that were operational half a year ago.

ONE STEP BACK BEFORE REBUSTS

However, the continent is already assuming the reality of outbreaks in several areas.

In fact, new outbreaks in the interior of Argentina were today the main concern in the country, where in recent months the pandemic was concentrated in the capital and in the province of Buenos Aires and now has high numbers of infections in other provinces.

Hence, the authorities recommended that in the 18 provinces where there is community transmission “efforts to minimize the movement of people” be redoubled.

The growing trend in cases also caused Honduras to extend the curfew until September 20 to stop the expansion of the coronavirus, which has left 2,079 dead and 67,789 infected in that nation.

While in Venezuela, with more than 60,000 infections and some 480 deaths, the Government decided to keep its airports closed until at least October 12 and ruled out that the 2020-2021 school year, which is scheduled to begin next Wednesday, implies the return from face-to-face classes.

Likewise, in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned this Monday that it may be necessary to reorder the confinement of the population given the constant increase in the number of cases in the country, which accumulates about 138,000 infections and 9,200 deaths.

PANDEMIC INVESTIGATIONS

Along with the pandemic, the causes opened by the management of this crisis also continue to advance.

This Monday it became known that the Democrats of the US Lower House are going to investigate alleged pressure from the Government of Donald Trump to change or delay the publication of scientific reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ).

The announcement of the investigation comes after Trump acknowledged last week that he had deliberately underestimated the pandemic in February and March, despite knowing the severity of COVID-19 to prevent panic from spreading among the population.

Meanwhile, in Chile, ten deputies from different opposition parties presented a constitutional accusation against former Minister of Health Jaime Mañalich for his management of the pandemic.



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