Americas

Worrying increase of COVID-19 cases in Americas region

More than 70,000 deaths reported in region as of April 29

Laura Gamba   | 30.04.2020
Worrying increase of COVID-19 cases in Americas region A man wearing a face mask looks on during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico City, Mexico, in March, 2020. ( Manuel Velasquez - Anadolu Agency )

BOGOTA, Colombia

The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Carissa F. Etienne expressed concern Wednesday about the increase in the number of infections and fatalities in the Americas region from the coronavirus.  

Of the 70,000 deaths reported on the continent, more than 60,000 correspond to the US.

All figures below are compiled according to data from the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. 

Brazil

Brazil suffered 474 more deaths from COVID-19, taking the total there to 5,158 and confirmed cases to 74,493. The death toll figure is more than China, where the virus was first reported.

Asked about the growing numbers, President Jair Bolsonaro responded: “So what?”

“I’m sorry. What do you want me to do?,” he said, and made reference to his middle name. “I’m Messiah but I can’t perform miracles."

His reaction caused anger from those who say he is mocking the tragedy caused by coronavirus to Brazilians.

“Bolsonaro is not just an awful politician and a bad president, he’s a despicable human being,” wrote left-wing opponent Marcelo Freixo on Twitter.

The increasing numbers comes amid a political crisis that led the Supreme Court to authorize an investigation into allegations that Bolsonaro tried to influence the naming of a new police chief to control investigations against his three sons.

The allegations by Sergio Moro, the popular anti-corruption former Justice Minister, were made when he announced he was stepping down from last week as a result of a controversy.

Bolsonaro has denied any wrongdoing and called Moro a "liar."  

Mexico

Nearly 4,000 migrants from different stations in Mexico were transferred to their countries of origin in Central America to avoid overcrowding and a possible outbreak of COVID-19.

Mexico's undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean Maximiliano Reyes Zuniga thanked the presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras for their help in the safe return of their nationals.

“In compliance with people's human rights, in an orderly and safe way, The National Migration Institute has returned more than 3,800 migrants to their countries of origin,” Reyes Zuniga tweeted Wednesday.

Many of the migrants were trapped in Mexico after the administration of US President Donald Trump shut down the nation's asylum system in March for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mexico reported 16,752 positive cases and 1,569 deaths from the coronavirus.  

Honduras has reported 66 deaths and 738 known cases.

Like all Central American countries except Nicaragua - which continues to refuse to give an accurate accounting of the virus - Honduras has taken drastic measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, with actions that include quarantines and border closures.

Panama registered almost 200 new cases of the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing its total to 6,200 and 176 deaths.

With 31,190 cases, Peru has the second highest number in Latin America.

Chile diagnosed cases have reached 14,885, including 216 fatalities.

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