Latin America faces its worst recession due to the pandemic that already leaves 23,000 deaths

Latin America is getting ready to face the biggest economic recession in its history due to a pandemic that has already caused more than 23,000 deaths, among more than 400,000 infected, in the region.

The World Health Organization confirmed on Wednesday that the number of people infected in the world by the new coronavirus amounts to 4.17 million and the deaths rise to 287,399, with 4,278 deaths in the last day.

Today's count confirms that the new focus of the pandemic is in the Americas, which has overtaken Europe in number of infections.


Data from Johns Hopkins University indicate that the United States remains the most affected country in the world, reporting some 1.4 million infected and more than 83,000 deaths.

The worst situation in the United States is experienced by New York State, considered the world epicenter of the pandemic for registering more than 340,000 patients and 27,000 deaths.

Within the continent, the countries most impacted after the US they are Brazil (188,974 infected and 13,149 deceased), Peru (more than 76,000 cases and 2,100 deaths), Canada (about 73,000 infected and 5,400 dead), Mexico (38,000 cases and 3,900 deceased), Chile (34,300 infected and more than 340 deaths) ,

Behind them are Ecuador (more than 30,400 patients and 2,300 deaths), Colombia (about 12,900 infections and 509 deaths) and the Dominican Republic (more than 11,000 patients and 400 deaths).

With this, the continent exceeds 1.8 million cases and 111,000 deaths. Some 406,000 of these infections and 23,300 deaths correspond to Latin America.

The university already places Brazil in sixth place among the countries with the most cases of coronavirus, after the USA, Russia, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy; and ahead of France and Germany.

Despite the spread of the disease, controversy continues in Brazil over the position of President Jair Bolsonaro, who has come to call the disease a "flu" and is pushing to reopen even gyms and hair salons.


Calculations published this Wednesday by the UN suggest that the coronavirus pandemic will cause in Latin America and the Caribbean the greatest economic recession in the history of the region, with a decrease of 5.4% in 2020, which will lead to the average income per capita falls to its lowest level in more than a decade, with a sharp rise in unemployment and large numbers of citizens falling into poverty.

In this area, COVID-19 has hit Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru particularly hard, despite the fact that all countries have taken important measures to contain the disease, such as the imposition of confinement.

Despite this, it is expected that this year the contraction will be 5.5% in South America (with 5.2% in Brazil), while for the Mexico and Central America area a decline of 5.4% is predicted. And in the Caribbean, the impact of the crisis will be much less, with a 1.9% drop.

According to the UN, some 34.3 million people worldwide will fall below the poverty line in 2020.

That phenomenon gave precisely a sample today in El Salvador, which reports more than a thousand infections and 20 deaths from coronavirus and where at least 93 families from a populous community in the center of the country had to put white flags on their houses as a sign that they stayed. without food to face the rest of the quarantine.


Amid the numbers of infections and deaths from the pandemic and the red numbers for the economy, the countries of the region are stealthily moving towards reopening.

Mexico announced that on May 18 the plan to gradually reopen economic activities will begin, although President Andrés Manuel López Obrador clarified that this process will be voluntary.

The Panamanian Government has divided into six blocks the gradual reactivation of the economy, practically paralyzed since the second week of March, and the first of them establishes the opening today of retail sales at home, of technical services such as automotive mechanics and air conditioning, and artisanal and semi-industrial fishing.

In Ecuador, fifty municipalities also announced their intention to start opening certain activities to revive the economy, after the first, Daule, showed itself in full commercial and social effervescence on Tuesday after 55 days of isolation from the coronavirus.

Controversies about the pandemic

Along with the spread of the virus, this Wednesday the debate on the evolution of the pandemic, the vaccine and treatments deepened.

The director of Health Emergencies at the World Health Organization (WHO), Mike Ryan, warned that this new coronavirus can become an endemic virus and, therefore, "never go away", which can lead to re-evaluating the measures of social distancing and reopening.

When at least five months have passed since it began to circulate among humans - which is believed to have happened in China - and many wonder when international efforts to contain it will give convincing results, Ryan acknowledged that the coronavirus may remain, like so many other viruses, and he said it's very difficult to project how long it will circulate the way it does now.

Meanwhile, the United States authorities, who are tirelessly seeking a cure, accused Chinese hackers of having carried out cyberattacks against US research centers to steal information about the vaccines and treatments that are being tested against COVID-19.

And Panama, the country most affected by the coronavirus in Central America, with about 9,000 cases and about 250 deaths, confirmed that it is experimenting with the use of convalescent plasma as a therapeutic treatment for people who are hospitalized, in a pioneering trial in the region.


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