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COVID-19: Latest tally of cases in Latin America

With nearly 26,000 cases, Brazil has most COVID-19 infections in Latin America, followed by Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico

Laura Gamba   | 15.04.2020
COVID-19: Latest tally of cases in Latin America

BOGOTA, Colombia

COVID-19 is killing or causing serious illness at different rates in different countries.

But beyond the total number of, experts recommend looking at the case fatality, a percentage calculated from the number of deaths relative to positive cases, which can better reflect the severity in each country.

In this region, the highest fatality rate is in Nicaragua, at 11.1%. Data shows Bolivia with 8.2%, Mexico at 6.6%, Honduras with 6.3, the Dominican Republic with 5.6%, Brazil at 5.7% and Ecuador with 4.7%.

At the other end of the extreme, the lowest rates are in Chile with 1.1 % and Costa Rica with 0.5%.

By comparison, Italy has a fatality rate of 12.8%, Spain 10.4% and China 4.1%.

All figures shared below are compiled according to data from the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University in Maryland as of Wednesday.


While President Jair Bolsonaro insists on denying the seriousness of coronavirus effects and ignores isolation measures, two governors who have taken actions to prevent the spread of the virus tested positive.

The Governor of Rio de Janeiro Wilson Witzel and Governor of Para (North) Helder Barbalho, announced Tuesday they tested positive.

"Since last Friday I have not been feeling well, I took the COVID-19 test and the result was positive," Witzel said in a video published on Twitter where he asked residents to respect quarantine measures extended by his government until April 30, despite criticism from Bolsonaro who advocates flexible isolation measures to mitigate effects on the economy.

"I had a fever, a sore throat and a loss of smell," said the 52-year-old governor, who says he feels "fine" and will continue to work from home.

Brazil, a country of more than 210 million people, recorded 25,758 cases as of Wednesday and 1,557 deaths -- the first time the country records more than 200 deaths from the virus in a single day.


As the crisis lingers in Ecuador with hospitals and cemeteries collapsing in the worst-affected city of Guayaquil, the armed forces are installing mobile hospitals to take in patients with COVID-19 in the capital of Quito as hospitals exceed capacity.

This has led to criticism of the government from those who believe hospitals could be better used in the hard-hit region of Guayas.

As cases surge, authorities still struggle to remove bodies from houses and find places for burial.

President Lenin Moreno acknowledged the possible gap between reality and official information when he said last week that Ecuador could “certainly have tens of thousands of contagions.”

The nation recorded 7,603 cases of the virus and 369 deaths since the first case was confirmed Feb. 29.


In the midst of the outbreak, Mexico is immersed in a serious health crisis that makes it difficult to deal with the current situation.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has referred to irregularities in the purchase of medicine, abandoned hospitals and deficiencies in the health system found when he rose to power.

"They left the health system in the dust, health centers, hospitals, doctors and medicines, they even stole the money for the medicine,” he said at a news conference on March 31.

Authorities said there are not enough hospitals, a lack of trained doctors, and medical supplies. Not even doctors have the necessary protection to take on this challenge.

More than 5,399 patients have been confirmed with coronavirus and the number of deaths has reached 406.


Along with the Brazilian president, President Daniel Ortega’s administration has responded to the pandemic with tactics that contradict global health recommendations, to the point that it appears Nicaragua is not reporting numbers.

It confirmed nine cases and one death.


Although Chile has the third-highest case count in the region with nearly 7,920, its death toll is low with 92.

Peru has the second-highest number of cases with more than 10,300 and a death toll at 230.

In Argentina, there are 2,108 cases, 2,979 in Colombia with 108 and 127 people losing their lives in those countries, respectively.

Coronavirus-related cases in Bolivia stand at 397 with 28 deaths; 3,286 cases and 183 deaths in the Dominican Republic and in Honduras and Costa Rica the death tolls remain low at 31 and 3.

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