The Covid-19 toll in Latin America and the Caribbean topped 1 million people last week, according to a Reuters tally, with the pandemic worsening in the part of the world with the highest per capita death rate .
From the dusty highlands of Bolivia to the Brazilian metropolis of São Paulo, the pandemic has overwhelmed underfunded health systems after spreading rapidly through countries where many people are surviving hand-to-hand combat and were unable to enter the lock.
In Peru, among the hardest-hit countries in the region, Covid-19 patients have died in the crowded corridors of hospitals in the capital Lima. Deep in Brazil’s Amazon jungle, many residents of the city of Manaus have died in their homes without oxygen to fill damaged lungs, after supplies ran out this year.
With cases declining in Europe, Asia and North America, and stable in Africa, South America is the only region where new infections are rising rapidly on a per capita basis, according to Our World in Data. Although India is currently struggling with one of the worst pandemic outbreaks in the world.
On average, in May, 31% of global Covid-19 deaths occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean, where just 8.4% of the world’s population live.
Doctors and epidemiologists say the coronavirus pandemic surprised unprepared governments last year and its impact was compounded by leaders who downplayed its severity and failed to secure vaccine supplies on time. timely.
The eight countries with the highest number of deaths per capita from Covid-19 in the past week were all in Latin America.
“Instead of preparing for the pandemic, we played down the disease, saying the tropical heat would deactivate the virus,” said Dr Francisco Moreno Sanchez, responsible for the Covid-19 program at one of Mexico’s main hospitals and criticism of government vaccination. plan.
“Unfortunately, we are among the worst affected regions, where the management of the pandemic has been the most flawed, and now we are suffering the consequences,” the epidemiologist told Reuters.
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