September 24, 2020

COVID-19 cases go from 115,000 to 312,000 in a disastrous week in America

Coronavirus cases are on the way to triple at the end of the week in America, which went from having about 115,000 confirmed infections on Friday of last week to exceeding 312,000 today, the same period in which the US consolidated as a global focus of the pandemic, a possible vaccine brought hope and also raised concern in the face of an impending recession.

This Friday the world map that tracks the evolution of the pandemic in real time, digitally produced by Johns Hopkins University, showed the overwhelming expansion of the coronavirus in Europe and North America, while the largest cleared areas were reflected in Africa.

After a disastrous week, the United States continues to be the country in the world with the highest number of confirmed cases with some 273,000 (last Friday it counted 101,000), while the number of deaths now totals 7,087.

The situation in the United States is a mirror of world reality, as global figures already account for more than a million cases, 58,773 deaths and a balance of 225,519 people recovered, an encouraging fact amid the bad news.

In Latin America, Brazil retains the highest number of confirmed cases with 8,229 and 359 deaths, followed in terms of the percentage of infections by Chile (3,737), Ecuador (3,368), Peru (1,595), Mexico (1,510), Panama (1,475), Colombia (1,267) and Argentina (1,265)


The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasized that this pandemic is not only a tragedy for public health, but also for the global economy and for hundreds of millions of families around the world who have lost their income or see their jobs at risk. .

However, he warned that “if countries decide to lift the restrictions too quickly, the virus may re-emerge and the economic impact may be even worse and longer.”


One of the good news for the week was the announcement by the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson (J&J), which will begin testing its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in humans in September and that it could be ready for emergency use at the beginning of 2021.

In addition, a candidate vaccine that neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 pandemic, was successfully tested in mice by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania (USA). .), but scientists warn that human testing could take months.


The United States continued to consolidate itself this week as the global focus of the pandemic, which this Friday broke with almost a decade of continued job creation in that country and hit the state of New York again, where the number of deaths has doubled in only three days and it already represents 45% of all deaths in the nation.

According to the Department of Labor, the economic slowdown has caused a rise of nine tenths in the unemployment rate, which in March reached 4.4%, which represents the worst monthly figure since 2009, in the midst of the financial crisis.


With the activities paralyzed, the economy is drifting and concerns are growing in the face of “a crisis never before seen in history”, as acknowledged by the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva.

The managing director announced in a videoconference that more than 90 countries have already requested emergency financial aid from the IMF because of the current crisis and assured that the pandemic has caused “a paralysis of the world economy” that has already plunged the planet into “a recession much worse than the financial crisis “that started in 2008.

Such is the dimension of the matter that even the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) urged to “reform” globalization when the world pandemic of COVID-19 passes and to move towards a “more sustainable and inclusive” development model.

“After the crisis, the world community will have to face the fact that globalization has not worked as it was supposed to and that it needs to be profoundly reformed,” said the executive secretary of the UN-dependent body, Alicia Bárcena.


ECLAC projects that Latin American GDP will contract at least 1.8% this year, although it is not ruled out that the drop will reach 4% in some countries.

The health crisis will also lead to an increase in unemployment by ten percentage points and a drop in the value of exports of 10.7%, with the countries of South America being the most affected by their specialization in the export of primary goods, according to the report. “Latin America and the Caribbean in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic: economic and social effects”.

On the other hand, the president of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), Dante Mossi, told Efe that in this scenario “the real crisis is of people who, to avoid contagion, cannot go out to sell or buy what what they produce or what they consume, and those living people are the ones that really worry even more ”.

“It is a crisis that costs a lot of money and that unfortunately is going to have to come from public debt,” said Mossi, a Honduran economist with a doctorate in the field at Vanderbilt University (USA) and a former World Bank official.


After the controversies, the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has tried to moderate the tone in recent days, although without convincing, and this Thursday in an interview he expressed his desire to reopen trade next week and call a day of fasting to fight the advance of the pathogen.

This attitude has cost him, to the point that approval to the management of the Brazilian Ministry of Health in the face of the coronavirus crisis rose this week to 76%, more than double that of the president (33%), according to a published survey this Friday.

The increase in popularity of the Health portfolio comes amid differences between the minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta, a doctor by training and a supporter of social distancing, and Bolsonaro, who has criticized the mass confinement and ignored the recommendations of the health authorities. .


The situation is still critical in Ecuador, where the Government has allocated 4 million dollars to hire 120 new health professionals in the city of Guayaquil, while Legal Medicine experts were following the collection of bodies throughout the city this Friday. .

At the national level, another 700 doctors, nurses and assistants will join to attend to the new positives for coronavirus, the General Secretariat for Communication reported today.


On this day it was also known that the first passengers disembarked from the Zaandam and Rotterdam cruises, which are docked in Port Everglades (Florida, USA) for humanitarian reasons, traveled on charter flights to different destinations, while the uncertainty surrounds another ship with patients of COVID-19 approaching the same port.

On the other hand, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that since the Dominican Republic and Haiti closed their borders in mid-March due to the coronavirus, at least 4,200 Haitians have returned to their country after losing their job due to the pandemic.


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