Brazil recorded almost 18,000 new daily infections on Monday, the fifth consecutive daily decrease down from more than 70,000 on July 29. Among the new infections, President Jair Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, Army General Walter Souza Braga Netto who became the seventh Brazilian minister to have contracted the disease. Braga Netto was doing well and had no symptoms, his office said in a statement.
North America is the region with the second highest number of cases, with 4.8 million infections, according to a Reuters tally, followed by Europe and Asia, which have around 3 million infections each.
Latin America, encompassing South and Central America and Mexico, is particularly vulnerable to the virus due to high levels of poverty, urbanisation and labour informality, according to a July 30 report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Pan American Health Organisation.
More than 100 million people across Latin America and the Caribbean live in slums, according to the United Nations Human Settlements Program. Many have jobs in the informal sector with little in the way of a social safety net and have continued to work throughout the pandemic. “The pandemic has become an unprecedented economic and social crisis and, if urgent measures are not taken, it could transform into a food, humanitarian, and political crisis,” the report warned.
Latin America has also a high death rate from the virus, likely due to a number of factors, including high levels of underlying conditions such as diabetes and obesity.