Coronavirus cases top 6 million in Latin America, region worst-hit by pandemic

Coronavirus cases in Latin America, the region of the world worst-affected by the pandemic, exceeded 6 million on Friday and continued to accelerate, according to a Reuters tally, as most of its nations begin to relax lockdown measures.

The region, which has reported an average of more than 86,000 daily infections of the new coronavirus in the last seven days and more than 2,600 COVID-19 deaths, reached 6,000,005 confirmed cases by Friday evening and 237,360 deaths.

Coronavirus: Non-profit group in Brazil places crosses, release balloons to mark 100,000 deaths from COVID-19

Coronavirus: Non-profit group in Brazil places crosses, release balloons to mark 100,000 deaths from COVID-19

That accounts for just under one-third of the world’s total case load and a similar share of reported deaths from the pandemic.

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The Pan American Health Organization, the regional arm of the World Health Organization, warned this month of an increase in other diseases due to the saturation of health services and the suspension of routine vaccination campaigns as a result of the pandemic.

Read more: ‘I regret all the deaths,’ Brazil’s Bolsonaro says as over 100,000 die from coronavirus

The International Monetary Fund predicted in June that the regional economy would contract 9.4% this year.

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The region’s worst-affected country is Brazil, which has the most cases in the world after the United States, and 15% of world’s total.

Read more: Global coronavirus cases surpass 20 million, doubling in 6 weeks

Peru and Chile also have the highest case loads and number of deaths in the world per 100,000 inhabitants, of countries with more than 100,000 cases.

The region’s climb from 5 million to 6 million cases took 11 days, one day less than it took to reach the previous million.

(Reporting by Javier Lopez de Lerida; Writing by Aislinn Laing; Editing by William Mallard)

© 2020 Reuters

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