Nepal | July 15, 2020

Latin America’s COVID-19 deaths seen hitting nearly 390,000 by October

Associated Press
Share Now:

MEXICO CITY: The death toll from the coronavirus in Latin America is expected to skyrocket to 388,300 by October, with Brazil and Mexico seen accounting for two-thirds of fatalities as other nations in the region contain their outbreaks, researchers said on Wednesday.

The region has emerged as a new global hotspot for the fast-spreading pandemic as deaths surpassed 100,000 this week and cases have tripled from 690,000 one month ago to 2 million.

High poverty levels and large informal sectors – which mean many workers cannot afford to quarantine – have combined with overcrowding in cities and inadequate public healthcare, particularly in isolated rural communities, to hamstring Latin America’s fight to stem the contagion.

Brazil is expected to exceed 166,000 deaths and Mexico 88,000, according to the forecast from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru are each forecast to see over 10,000 fatalities, while 15 nations including Paraguay, Uruguay and Belize are seen with fewer than 1,000 deaths each.

“Several Latin American countries are facing explosive trajectories, while others are containing infections effectively,” said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray.

IHME researchers warned that the loss of life could surge even higher than the already-grim forecast if mandates on mask wearing and social distancing are relaxed.

In a worst-case scenario, the COVID-19 death toll could climb to 340,476 people in Brazil and 151,433 people in Mexico, the report said.

The leaders of Brazil and Mexico have been chastised for not taking the virus seriously enough and pushing for a reopening of their economies before the virus has been tamed.

“Brazil is at a grim tipping point. … Unless and until the government takes sustained and enforced measures to slow transmission, the nation will continue its tragic upward trajectory of infections and deaths,” Murray said.

As Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has continued to downplay the seriousness of the health crisis, Latin America’s largest nation has tallied nearly 1.2 million cases and 53,830 deaths.

Transmission could be cut in half in communities where people are wearing masks when leaving their homes, according to the IHME.

“Increased testing and use of masks are important tools in reducing the toll of this pandemic in Mexico, in addition to keeping healthy distance,” said Dr. Rafael Lozano, director of Health Systems at IHME.

If mask use rises to 95%, Brazil could see as few as 147,431 deaths and Mexico’s forecasted death toll could fall to 79,652, the researchers said.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Manchester United, Marcus Rashford, Premier League

United stay fifth after Saints grab last-gasp leveller

MANCHESTER: Manchester United's Champions League qualification hopes suffered a blow after an equaliser deep in stoppage time from Michael Obafemi earned Southampton a 2-2 draw in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Monday. United, unbeaten in 18 games in all competitions, were poised to m Read More...

Capital budget spending at two-decade low of 40 per cent

KATHMANDU, JULY 13 With just two days remaining for the 2019-20 fiscal year to end, capital budget expenditure throughout the year stands at one of the worst ever at 39.62 per cent. Officials at the Ministry of Finance said capital expenditure during the current fiscal year, which was primaril Read More...

Mayur company resumes bus service in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, July 13 Mayur Yatayat Company resumed its bus services from today in Kathmandu valley amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision of Mayur Yatayat has come as a relief to commuters at a time when other public transportation entrepreneurs were refusing to operate their services citing f Read More...

‘Press freedom should involve accountability’

Kathmandu, July 13 Minister of Communications and Information Technology Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada said the CIT Ministry ought to start digitisation first, by utilising the advancement of information technology. As the government has adopted a digital framework, we should become paperless in our activ Read More...

Absconding murder suspect held after 13 years

Kathmandu, July 13 Police have nabbed one of the two prime murder suspects of the much-hyped Sitapaila murder case that had happened 13 years ago. Two workers at a saw mill had allegedly killed its owner, his wife and inflicted serious injuries to their 15-year-old son on the night of 2 Januar Read More...

US debates school reopening, WHO warns 'no return to normal'

MIAMI: The resurgence of the coronavirus in the United States ignited fierce debate Monday about whether to reopen schools, as global health officials warned that the pandemic will intensify unless more countries adopt comprehensive plans to combat it. “If the basics aren’t followed, there is Read More...

landslide

COVID-19 control, disaster management top priorities

Kathmandu, July 13 Tokha Municipality in Kathmandu has set priorities for containment of COVID-19 crisis and disaster management in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The municipality that is located in the northern belt of Kathmandu unveiled a budget for Rs 1.58 billion for the fiscal y Read More...

US budget deficit hits all-time high of $864 billion in June

WASHINGTON: The federal government incurred the biggest monthly budget deficit in history in June as spending on programs to combat the coronavirus recession exploded while millions of job losses cut into tax revenues. The Treasury Department reported Monday that the deficit hit $864 billion last Read More...