Ltin America surpasses 1M coronavirus deaths

The coronavirus pandemic is worsening in Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 1 million fatalities registered as deaths and infections continue to decline in North America and Europe.

The region recorded almost 30% of global fatalities, reports more than 31.5 million infections and 1,001,400 deaths, according to data by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

And yet, only 3% of the region’s population has been immunized, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Chile and Uruguay are advancing their immunization programs but the rollout in other countries in the region remains slow.

Infections are on the rise in Brazil. President Jair Bolsonaro, who, from the beginning of the pandemic refused to adopt measures to try to control the virus, was fined Friday for breaking regulations at a public event in Maranhao state.

State Governor Flavio Dino said Bolsonaro “must comply with federal and state legislation.”

“We are living through an especially challenging phase of the pandemic. The health authorities have been working hard. And today they decided to file a case against the president for the promotion in Maranhao of gatherings with no sanitary safeguards,” said Dino. “The law is for everyone.”

Nearly 450,000 people have died from the virus in Brazil — the second-highest total in the world after the US. The country also reports more than 16 million cases.

Thousands of Colombians have taken to the streets in three weeks of anti-government protests as that country confronts a third wave of cases that have collapsed intensive care units. It reports more than 3 million cases and 84,000 deaths. PAHO has said the country is “expecting even greater increases” due to the recent protests.

Argentina adopted a strict nine-day lockdown in the wake of a huge surge in infections during the past week.

“We must accept that we are in a critical moment,” said President Alberto Fernandez on Thursday as he announced the new restrictions.

Cases have been rising in the South American country that has seen nearly 74,000 people die from the virus.

Mexico registered nearly 222,000 deaths and 2.4 million cases since the start of the pandemic.

Medical staff and hospitals are on the brink of collapse in Peru, where increased infection rates have been fueled by the presence of the Brazilian variant.

Source: Anadolu Agency