New epicenter of the pandemic, according to WHO, Latin America shows increasingly worrying data, although very differentiated by country. A sign that the political response to Covid-19 and individual behaviors are making a difference, much more than natural factors such as the climate, the effect of which on the spread of the infection appears to be irrelevant. Just think that the highest numbers of the epidemic – cases and deaths by population – are registered in the Amazon region of Brazil, the hottest and most humid. While the effects of the coming winter, especially in the south of the continent, are still to be seen: Argentina, Chile and the south of Brazil suffer from seasonal flu epidemics, such as countries with a temperate climate. According to the WHO, Latin America has now overtaken Europe and the United States in terms of daily numbers of new people infected. And a good part come from Brazil. On the continent, however, there are also “” virtuous “countries, such as Argentina, Venezuela and Paraguay, but in no corner of the region is it believed that the peak is already behind.
On a critical point of the curve, Brazil has climbed the rankings of the pandemic, and with 365,000 infected, it is today in the world behind only the United States. There are almost 23,000 deaths with a growth rate close to 1,000 every 24 hours. The map is a leopard spot, with regions of the great country almost immune and critical metropolitan areas, such as San Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, Manaus and Belem. The spacing measures proceed in random order, and states and municipalities decide on openings and closings without respecting the orientation of the federal government, headed by the denialist Jair Bolsonaro. A long six-day bridge decided in Sao Paulo to remove people from the streets was of little use. Difficult to exceed 50 percent of “quarantenati”. The situation is worrying in the favelas and in the suburbs, where there are many deaths in homes, while the United States has blocked all flights from Brazil. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has signed a decree prohibiting the entry into the country of people who have been to Brazil for the past 14 days. The measure, which has been talked about for some time, is being taken to protect the country following the surge in the spread of the new coronavirus in the Amazon country. “The undetected transmission potential of the virus by infected individuals seeking to enter the US from Brazil threatens our transportation system, our infrastructure and our national security,” Trump wrote in a statement released by the White House. .
In a position of medium severity compared to a population of over 100 million inhabitants (68,000 infections and 7,400 victims), Mexico could be a champion of data distortion, due to the very low number of swabs and a situation that is also fluctuating in policies public. President López Obrador was also among the denialists of the first hour. There is a voluntary quarantine in the country which will last until June 1st. The management of the crisis puts the government under accusation, also because according to some estimates the economy of Mexico will be one of the most affected in the world, with a drop in GDP this year between 10 and 12 percent.
The Buenos Aires government has imposed a rigid lockdown from the outset, to the European one, with prohibitions on moving and closing borders. The results can be seen, with only 12,000 infections and 450 deaths. But Argentina was a country already in a severe crisis, and is once again on the eve of a default on its external debt. The effects on the economy are therefore likely to be even more serious than expected.
A national pre-virus tradition is being respected also in Chile, that of social convulsions. Seven months after the riots of last October, the inhabitants of El Bosque, a poor neighborhood in Santiago, broke the isolation and poured into the streets to protest. There were looting and 22 arrested, shouting “We prefer to die of Coronavirus than starvation”. In Chile the situation is critical in hospitals, close to saturation: there are 66,000 infections and 673 deaths.
Today, after 76 days of quarantine, Paraguay reopens the shops but leaves the borders closed with Brazil. Government measures have worked well and at the moment there is not a single Covid patient admitted to ICU across the country. There are only 862 infections and 11 deaths.
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