Latin American coronavirus deaths overtake North American fatalities

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – The number of coronavirus deaths in Latin America has exceeded North America for the first time since the pandemic began, according to a Reuters count on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Crematorium staff put the body of a person who has died from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in an incinerator since the number of deaths due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in San Isidro crematorium rises in Mexico City, Mexico May 20, 2020. REUTERS / Carlos Jasso

Latin America had at least 144,680 deaths as of Monday, compared with 143,847 deaths in North America – including Canada and the United States – according to Reuters, based on official numbers.

The first confirmed cases of the virus in America occurred within a day in late February, first in Canada, then in the United States and Mexico.

Initially, the United States and Canada experienced a faster escalation in the number of cases reported.

However, Latin America struggled to curb the spread of the virus after it left the more affluent areas in which it was first discovered, usually those who had traveled abroad. A problematic combination of widespread poverty, informal work and poor health care, particularly in remote areas, contributed to the spread.

The heads of state and government of the region's two most populous countries, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Mexican Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, initially dismissed the severity of the virus.

The United States remains the only country with the most deaths – 135,055 – followed by Brazil with 72,100.

Mexico and Peru are among the 10 countries with the highest number of deaths worldwide, while Chile, Colombia and Ecuador also suffered more than 5,000 deaths.

According to a Reuters count, global coronavirus infections exceeded 13 million on Monday. This is another milestone in the spread of the disease, which killed more than half a million people in seven months. The balance shows that the disease accelerates fastest in Latin America.

The first case was reported in China in early January and it took three months for a million cases to be confirmed worldwide. It only took five days to reach 13 million of the 12 million registered on July 8th.

According to the World Health Organization, the number of coronavirus infections to date is about three times the number of severe influenza cases that are confirmed worldwide every year.

(For an interactive Reuters graphic, open this link in an external browser:

Reporting by Javier Leira, writing by Aislinn Laing, editing by Rosalba O & # 39; Brien

(tagsToTranslate) UK (t) HEALTH (t) CORONAVIRUS (t) LATAM (t) Brazil (t) South America / Central America (t) Image available (t) Healthcare (TRBC) (t) Mexico (t) Emerging Markets Countries (t) Canada (t) United States

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