Latin America exceeds 10 million coronavirus cases and Europe adopts new restrictions

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Girl with protective mask plays in Bogota park on October 9, 2020 – AFP

This Saturday (10), Latin America and the Caribbean surpassed 10 million cases of coronavirus and Brazil is about to reach 150,000 deaths by covid-19. The region is the most affected in the world by the pandemic, which is advancing rapidly in Europe, where restrictions have increased this weekend.

According to an AFP count from official sources on Saturday, 10,001,833 infections were recorded in Latin America and the Caribbean, 366,637 of which resulted in deaths.

More than half of infections occur in Brazil, which already records 5,055,888 cases and is about to overcome 150 thousand deaths. It is followed by Colombia (894,300 cases and 27,495 deaths), Argentina (871,455 cases, 23,225 deaths) and Peru (843,355 cases, 33,158 deaths), the country with the highest mortality rate in the world in proportion to its population, with 101 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

Despite these figures, the Peruvian government will open seven archaeological sites in the Andean region of Cusco as of October 15, after a seven-month period of closure, and in November it is expected to reopen the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, a jewel of Peruvian tourism.

In Argentina, the extension of mandatory isolation until October 25 was announced, on a day with a record 515 deaths and 15,009 infections. In Buenos Aires, on the other hand, there is a “slow and sustained decrease in cases” and the mayor, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, announced a easing of the confinement.

On Friday, the World Bank (WB) warned that Latin America and the Caribbean will suffer “the worst economic and health impact” in the world due to the pandemic and predicted a 7.9% drop in GDP in 2020.

According to a report by the organization, “the number of deaths per million people (in Latin America) is as high as in advanced economies, if not greater, but the resources available to face the coup are much more restricted”.

– Restrictions increase in Europe –

Worldwide, the pandemic has caused at least one million deaths and more than 37.2 million infections since December, according to AFP figures.

In the past week, the situation has worsened markedly in Europe, which has registered a 28% increase in the number of infections. In total, the continent already exceeds 6.2 million cases and 240 thousand deaths.

The virus wreaks havoc in countries like Spain, where the government has declared a state of alarm in Madrid to contain the infections, after days of deep disagreements between the national authorities (left) and the conservative regional executive.

Thus, for at least 14 days, the 4.5 million inhabitants of Madrid and some neighboring municipalities must respect partial or perimeter confinement. That is, they can stroll, shop or eat in restaurants, but within the defined area, from which they can only leave for essential reasons, such as going to work or the doctor.

In Berlin, bars and restaurants are expected to remain closed from this Saturday between 11 pm and 6 am, to prevent the pandemic from spreading.

In the German capital, more than 50 new cases were registered for every 100 thousand inhabitants, which makes it a “risk zone”. As a comparison, Madrid currently exceeds 560 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will “likely” announce new restrictions on Monday in “certain regions”.

On Friday in Brussels, the EU agreed to coordinate its travel restrictions within the bloc using a common method, with the hope of unifying the measures adopted by each country.

– Trump negativo? –

In this gloomy global scenario, a question remains unanswered: is President Donald Trump cured after announcing on October 2 that he was positive for the coronavirus?

This Saturday and despite lingering doubts about his health, the president will make a public speech at the White House, the first since he announced his infection, in an attempt to relaunch his campaign and lessen the disadvantage in polls against Democratic candidate Joe Biden, three weeks before the presidential election.

The United States is the country most affected by this pandemic, with more than 213,000 deaths and a total of 7.6 million infections.

Every day in the United States about 1,000 people die from the virus, according to official data.

On the other side of the coin, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Saturday that his country does not have any cases of coronavirus and wished “health” to people with covid-19 worldwide.

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