The number of COVID-19 cases over in Latin America is surging and the region has now become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. They have surpassed Europe and the United States following an alarming number of new cases last week that was reportedly the highest for seven days, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
There are now over 2.4 million cases in the region including 143,000 deaths. These were the numbers revealed by Dr. Carissa Etienne during a press briefing. But of all the regions in the Americas, the situation in Brazil has been alarming. The highest for seven days mentioned earlier actually pertained to them. Aside from Brazil, also hit hard by the virus are Peru and Chile. Both regions hold the world’s highest infection rate per capita in seven days, according to Our World in Data (OWID), an independent statistics website housed at Oxford University.
According to CNN, Chile had 77,961 infections and 806 deaths since the outbreak with 30,915 recovering. As of this writing, Peru had 129,751 total cases and 3,788 deaths. The 52,906 have recovered from the virus. But the alarming number of cases right now is in Brazil. They have 394,507 cases, 24,593 deaths to show with 158,593 recovering. There are 2,2147 new cases and 44 new deaths as of May 27. With rising numbers over in Brazil, they have now overtaken Russia as the country with most cases.
“Now is the time to stay strong, to remain vigilant, and to aggressively implement proven public health measures. We have learned from other regions, we have learned what works and what doesn’t and we must continue to apply this knowledge to our context,” Etienne said.
Making matters a bit worse over in Brazil is how the country is treating the COVID-19 and following guidelines. Its government seems torn with preventive measures not being observed religiously. Such has resulted in countless COVID-19 cases and deaths with President Jair Bolsonaro undermining measures to prevent the spread of the virus. And it seems to be causing a division among leaders.
“The behavior of President Bolsonaro is the wrong behavior. He is against social isolation. He’s against the orientation of the science,” Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said.
Doria said that they do support the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes social isolation, wearing masks and staying at home as much as possible. This is despite Bolsonaro downplaying the virus and railed against stay-at-home measures. He argued that the economic fallout risks causing more damage than the virus itself.