Americas, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Latin America accounts for 1 of every 3 COVID-19 deaths

Countries strengthen containment measures and seek to ensure access to future vaccines

Laura Gamba   | 05.11.2020
Latin America accounts for 1 of every 3 COVID-19 deaths

BOGOTA, Colombia

Latin America accounts for one out of every three coronavirus deaths worldwide, according to a tally by US-based Johns Hopkins University as of Wednesday.   

Ten months into the pandemic, more than 1,222,900 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported globally. Latin America has registered 405,545 fatalities, around 33% of the total number. 

Brazil has the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in Latin America followed by Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Colombia.   

Ecuador 

The Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil tightened restrictions Wednesday due to an increase in coronavirus deaths and cases. 

The city, which was once a pandemic hotspot where those infected died at home and hundreds of bodies were left in the streets for days, was able to contain infections and reduce the mortality rate with strict confinement measures in June. 

However, in recent weeks, the increase in cases has led to a 95% occupancy rate of beds for critical patients with COVID-19 and the number of deaths has risen to an average of six per day when the city had been free of the virus for weeks. 

"We're not playing games. What we have seen so far is a sustained increase in deaths, bed occupancy and the number of infections per day in the city of Guayaquil. The reason: the relaxation measures taken by citizens," Cynthia Viteri, the city’s mayor, told reporters.  

Ecuador has 171,433 cases and 12,704 deaths.

Chile 

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said Wednesday that the country's health regulators had given the go-ahead to a clinical trial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the country. 

The trial will add to those by Johnson & Johnson and others by China’s Sinovac Biotech.  

"We all know that a safe, effective and readily-available vaccine to all those who need it will be a huge contribution to the fight against the coronavirus," Pinera said.

Chile's Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported a total caseload of 515,042 and 21 more deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 14,340. 

Cuba 

Cuba reported 109 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, a record number in seven months of the pandemic, with 36 of them "imported" cases of Cubans who recently returned to the country, according to the Ministry of Public Health, which did not specify the countries of origin.

The highest number of cases recorded in one day was 93, registered on Aug. 9.CUuba has 7,144 cases and 129 fatalities.  

Brazil

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa approved the resumption of human clinical trials of Johnson & Johnson's experimental coronavirus vaccine. 

The trials in Brazil had been suspended since Oct. 12, when one participant in the study fell ill. The company said it would check if the person's symptoms were related to the vaccine. Testing of the vaccine in the US resumed last month. 

According to authorities, at least 160,496 people in Brazil have died due to COVID-19. The number of people infected since the virus was first recorded totals 5,566,049. 

Mexico  

US Border Patrol agents apprehended about half as many migrants at the US-Mexico border in fiscal 2020 as they did in 2019, according to newly released federal data.  

There were 400,651 apprehensions from October 2019 to September 2020, a 53% decrease from the previous year. 

The sharp drop in the number of apprehended migrants follows a shutdown of the border in response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has caused 92,593 deaths.

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