PANDEMIC. Coronavirus accelerates in South America, India, Russia


The pandemic accelerated its run in Latin America, Russia and the Indian subcontinent on May 22, while the curves have flattened and reopening is underway in much of Europe, Asia and the United States. Many governments say they need to shift attention to saving jobs that are disappearing as quickly as the virus can spread. In the United States and China, the two largest economies in the world, unemployment is rising.

The Federal Reserve president estimated that up to one in four Americans could be unemployed, while analysts in China estimate that about a third of the urban workforce is unemployed, reports ap.

L’India has seen the largest peak in a single day since the start of the pandemic, while Pakistan and Russia experienced the highest death toll. Most of the new Indian cases have occurred in Bihar, where thousands of people have returned home from work in the cities. The two most populous nations of Latin America – Mexico and Brazil – have recorded a record number of new cases and deaths almost every day this week, fueling criticism of their presidents, who have slowed down closings to try to limit economic damage .

Cases have increased and intensive care units have also been in crisis in Peru, Chile and Ecuador. Brazil has reported more than 20,000 deaths and 300,000 cases confirmed on May 21, and is the third most affected country in the world in terms of infection according to official data. Experts consider both numbers to be underestimated due to the widespread lack of testing.

President Jair Bolsonaro mocked the severity of the virus and led an active campaign against governors’ attempts to limit movement and trade. Bolsonaro fired his health minister for supporting governors, his successor resigned after having openly disagreed with Bolsonaro on hydroxychloroquine, advertised by U.S. President Donald Trump as a viable cure for coronavirus.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador downplayed the threat for weeks, continuing to travel the country after Mexico’s first confirmed case. He insisted that Mexico was different, that his strong family ties and work ethic would make him survive. The country is now experiencing more than 400 deaths per day, and new infections have not yet peaked. In the meantime, the Mexican government has shifted attention to the reactivation of the economy. Mines, construction and parts of the North American automotive supply chain could resume operations this week.

In Russia Health officials recorded 150 deaths in 24 hours, reaching a total of 3,249. but there is a lot of skepticism about the data provided by Moscow. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, himself cured of the coronavirus, said that only 27 out of 85 regions are ready to gradually lift their blockades. At least three ministers contracted the disease, as did the Kremlin spokesman.

Maddalena Ingroia

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