Latin America, driven in large part by the situation in Brazil, has reportedly surpassed the United States and Europe in new daily novel coronavirus cases reported over the past week.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported:
Latin America accounted for around a third of the 91,000 cases reported earlier this week. Europe and the United States each accounted for just over 20%.
A large number of those new cases came from Brazil, which recently surpassed Germany, France, and the United Kingdom to become the third-largest outbreak in the world, behind the United States and Russia. Cases in Brazil are now rising at a daily pace second only to the United States.
Brazil is now reportedly the fastest growing coronavirus hotspot in the world.
Despite the increase in cases, many Latin American countries, particularly the ones with the largest economies in the region (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia), have either already begun to loosen their lockdown restrictions or will soon do so after shutting down to stem the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 will likely devastate Latin America’s economy as it has the rest of the world.
Coronavirus landed in Latin America on February 26 when Brazil confirmed its first case. Governments in the region have since taken an array of measures to protect their citizens and contain the spread of the virus.
As of Monday, virus fatalities in Latin America had exceeded 30,000, accounting for about ten percent of all recorded deaths, Reuters noted.
Meanwhile, Europe accounts for over half of the more than 329,000 COVID-19 deaths worldwide. The coronavirus deaths in the United States amount to about 30 percent of the world’s total. Many countries are only reporting COVID-19 deaths that take place inside hospitals.
Reuters noted that the substantial increase in the number of cases in Latin America represents “a new phase in the virus’ spread, which initially peaked in China in February before large-scale outbreaks followed in Europe and the United States.”
As of Thursday, there were over five million confirmed cases across the world.