Covid Cases Surge In Latin America

Jair Bolsonaro

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Brazil have surpassed the total in Italy, and numbers of new cases are also surging in Mexico and Peru as Latin America struggles to contain its fast-growing coronavirus outbreak.

Spain announced 87 new deaths in the 24 hours leading up to Sunday morning, the first time the country has reported a daily death toll below 100 in more than two months and a sign the virus is being contained in western Europe. The virus continues to spread aggressively in Russia, India and parts of Africa.

Brazil announced almost 15,000 new infections on Saturday, taking the country’s total number of cases to over 230,000, the fourth-largest caseload in the world after the US, Russia and the UK. Given that Brazilian authorities had carried out less than 500,000 tests by the start of last week, the true number of cases is likely to be a lot higher.

The resignation of two successive federal health ministers in the past month has hampered the nation’s attempts to get on top of the crisis, and complaints of inaction from Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro are building by the day.

“Unemployment, hunger and misery will be the future of those who support the tyranny of total isolation,” Bolsonaro tweeted, the day following Nelson Teich resignation after less than a month as health minister.

Sunday didn’t appear to show any change of tone from the president, as he addressed a small rally of supporters outside the presidential palace.

“We hope soon to be free of this matter,” Brazil’s president said of Covid-19, as reported by the Folha de São Paulo newspaper. “Brazil, I’m certain, will be stronger for it.”