8.7M CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN AS OF 20 SEPTEMBER
50% OF HOMES IN GUATEMALA PURCHASING LESS FOOD DUE TO ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID-19
7.5M FAMILIES IN PERU ASSISTED WITH INITIAL COVID-19 GRANT FOR BASIC NECESSITIES
Cases are referenced from PAHO/WHO 20 September COVID-19 Report – https://bit.ly/2O25YQw
As of 20 September, there are 8,734,907 cases and 323,076 deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as 7,071,874 recovered cases.
LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN: COVID-19
According to a recent UNICEF study, one in every four families has eliminated one daily meal due to the COVID-19 crisis’ impact on food access. Three out of every 10 people surveyed report that at least one family member is eating less. Half of surveyed homes say they have stopped purchasing certain foods due to the pandemic’s impact on their finances.
The study also found that 15 per cent of those surveyed know of someone who has left Guatemala over deteriorating economic conditions, with most who plan to leave in the northern department of Petén. Despite Guatemala closing their borders in March, the United States has detained 2,300 unaccompanied Guatemalan children at the US-Mexico border.
According to the Government, Peru’s contagion and hospitalization rates and deaths have gradually decreased week to week over the last month, noting Ministry of Health reports that northern and western regions are showing signs of stabilizing while central and southern regions are showing declines. Officials note that southern Andean areas such as Cusco, Huancavelica, Puno, Ayacucho and Apurimac, which do not presently show any increases, require further Government support to begin showing encouraging declines.
The Government also reports that some 7.5 million families have already received a first COVID-19 grant of US$223 to support basic purchases, with the second one to be paid in the first week of October to benefit 8.4 million families. The grants are part of $1.68 billion investment to aid households in need as the Government continues to work to boost the pandemic-ravaged economy.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) established an inter-island travel and tourism bubble to revive the tourism, a sector that has been struggling due to the COVID-19 crisis. CARICOM indicates the eligibility criteria for countries include countries with no cases reported and low-risk category countries that should be allowed to participate in the bubble.
Given the second wave of infections across the Caribbean, only eight of the 20 CARICOM countries meet the criteria. Barbados is one of those countries and will continue to operate as sub-regional hub and facilitate the mobilization of response personnel and relief supplies in the Caribbean in the event of an emergency.