Latin America and Caribbean surpass Europe to become world’s hardest-hit Covid region

Europe

Latin America and the Caribbean surpassed Europe on Friday to become the region hardest-hit with coronavirus deaths, as India passed the milestone of two million infections.

The world’s worst-affected region has reported 213,120 fatalities in total, 460 more than Europe, according to an AFP tally based on official data.

In Brazil, demonstrators released 100 biodegradable red balloons as the country’s coronavirus death toll nears 100,000.

Worldwide there have been more than 19 million cases of coronavirus and over 715,000 deaths from the illness since it was first reported in China at the end of last year.

In Latin America, which is already the region with the largest number of infections at 5.3 million, deaths continue to soar.

Over the last week, 44 percent of global fatalities from COVID-19 – 18,300 out of 41,500 – occurred in the region.

More than half the region’s infections, some 2.9 million, are in Brazil, which has also recorded 99,702 deaths among its 212 million people, according to worldometer.info. 

Marcio Antonio do Nascimento, right center, and Lucas Cruz, hold a Brazilian national flag as red balloons are released to honor the victims of COVID-19 in a demonstration

Marcio Antonio do Nascimento, right center, and Lucas Cruz, hold a Brazilian national flag as red balloons are released to honor the victims of COVID-19 in a demonstration

Marcio Antonio do Nascimento, right center, and Lucas Cruz, hold a Brazilian national flag as red balloons are released to honor the victims of COVID-19 in a demonstration

Crosses and red balloons were placed by Rio de Paz in tribute to the almost 100,000 victims

Crosses and red balloons were placed by Rio de Paz in tribute to the almost 100,000 victims

Crosses and red balloons were placed by Rio de Paz in tribute to the almost 100,000 victims

Countries in Latin American with highest coronavirus cases 

Brazil – 2.9 million

Mexico – 469,407

Peru – 463,875

Chile – 368,825

Colombia – 367,196 

Argentina – 235,677

Ecuador – 91,969 

Bolivia – 87,891 

Advertisement

On Saturday, demonstrators – organised by non-governmental organisation Rio de Paz – met on Copacabana beach to plant 100 black crosses and release 100 red balloons in tribute to the near-100,000 victims of the coronavirus.

The demonstration was driven by taxi driver Márcio Antônio do Nascimento Silva who lost a son to COVID-19.

Antonio Carlos Costa, president of Rio de Paz said:  ‘Public power and society need to answer a question to which we are told the 100 thousand deaths by coronavirus: why are we the second country in death toll?

‘From the rational, exempt and honest answer to this question, depend on the changes Brazil needs to go through in order to live in a country in which the sanctity of human life is respected.’

Only the United States has been worse hit than Brazil. It added 1,062 new deaths on Friday to bring its toll to just over 161,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The second worst-affected country in Latin America, Mexico, passed 50,000 deaths on Thursday.

In the United States, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said schools could reopen this fall if they meet certain criteria.

Schools in several US states have reopened for in-person classes – but some have already been hit by large quarantines of students and staff following fresh outbreaks.

The US economy regained 1.8 million jobs in July, according to government data, and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent, but with COVID-19 cases spiking in several states economists raised concerns that the labor market could take a turn for the worse.

Brazil has recorded almost 3 million coronavirus cases - second most in the world to the US

Brazil has recorded almost 3 million coronavirus cases - second most in the world to the US

Brazil has recorded almost 3 million coronavirus cases – second most in the world to the US

Mexico has recorded more than 450,000 cases of coronavirus with 51,311 deaths

Mexico has recorded more than 450,000 cases of coronavirus with 51,311 deaths

Mexico has recorded more than 450,000 cases of coronavirus with 51,311 deaths

Workers dig fresh graves in the Municipal Cemetery of Valle de Chalco , near Mexico city that opened to accommodate the surge in deaths amid the ongoing new coronavirus pandemic

Workers dig fresh graves in the Municipal Cemetery of Valle de Chalco , near Mexico city that opened to accommodate the surge in deaths amid the ongoing new coronavirus pandemic

Workers dig fresh graves in the Municipal Cemetery of Valle de Chalco , near Mexico city that opened to accommodate the surge in deaths amid the ongoing new coronavirus pandemic

The virus has flared up again in areas where it appeared to have been curbed and has steadily spread across India and Africa.

India’s cases have doubled in three weeks, reaching two million on Friday following a record daily jump of more than 60,000 new infections.

It is only the third country after the United States and Brazil to surpass two million cases.

Official figures show the world’s second most populous nation has also recorded 41,500 deaths.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns in late March, with tens of millions of migrant workers losing their jobs almost overnight.

But with the economy in tatters, restrictions have been steadily eased.

Experts say the true numbers of cases and fatalities are grossly under-reported as causes of death in the country of 1.3 billion people are rarely properly recorded.

The stigmatization of those infected has put off many from getting tested.

Police personnel check vehicles during a day-long complete lockdown imposed by the state government against the surge in COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Siliguri, India, today

Police personnel check vehicles during a day-long complete lockdown imposed by the state government against the surge in COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Siliguri, India, today

Police personnel check vehicles during a day-long complete lockdown imposed by the state government against the surge in COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Siliguri, India, today

‘There’s both the fear of the disease as well as of isolation and quarantine,’ Rajib Kumar, who heads the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, told AFP.

However, there have been some positive indicators in Africa, where health authorities warned against complacency amid hopes that the pandemic is peaking in some parts of the continent.

‘African countries are doing their best, despite… limitations’ such as weak health systems, Mary Stephen of the World Health Organization’s Africa office, told AFP.

Some countries have seen declines of around 20 percent in cases but there remain fears of a second wave.

‘Because we don’t see many people like we used to see in Italy, like 1,000 people dying (a day), people tend to relax, they think the risk is not so much in Africa,’ said Stephen.  

Leave a Reply