COVID-19 infections in Latin America surpass 300,000

Source: Xinhua| 2020-05-08 16:41:20|Editor: huaxia

MEXICO CITY, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The total confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Latin America surpassed 300,000 on Thursday as governments across the region continued to enforce measures to stop the virus' spreading while also contemplating reopening their economies.

Brazil has registered 9,888 more cases and 610 new deaths during the past 24 hours, bringing the country's total to 135,106 cases and 9,146 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health on Thursday.

The state of Sao Paulo, the most populous in Brazil, has been hardest-hit by the disease, with 3,206 deaths and 39,928 confirmed cases as of Thursday, followed by Rio de Janeiro State with 1,394 deaths and 14,156 cases, and Ceara State with 903 deaths and 13,888 cases.

The Peruvian Ministry of Health on Thursday raised the number of confirmed cases in the country by 3,628 to 58,526, and the death toll by 89 to 1,627.

Jorge Montenegro, minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, was among the newly-confirmed cases. The ministry announced that Montenegro received a positive COVID-19 test result on Wednesday and went on self-isolation.

According to the health ministry, 5,980 people have been hospitalized with 722 patients in intensive care units.

The Peruvian government has extended quarantine measures and border closures to May 10 to better contain the virus. The mandatory quarantine in the country was previously due to end on April 26.

The nationwide tally in Ecuador topped 30,000 on Thursday, with a total of 2,461 new cases and 49 more deaths.

Of the total infections, 15,561 are stable in home isolation, 362 have been hospitalized in stable condition and 156 have a reserved prognosis, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Public Health said.

The majority of infections across the country are concentrated in the Pacific coastal Guayas Province, with 12,577 cases and 726 deaths, it added.

On May 4, Ecuador began to gradually reactivate the production sector, though the government has extended the state of emergency to mid-June.

During the past 24 hours, Mexico saw 1,609 new infections and 197 more deaths, taking the country's total to 29,616 cases and 2,961 deaths, the Health Ministry said.

Hugo Lopez-Gatell, Mexico's deputy health minister, called on the public to prepare for "a long epidemic" of the fatal disease.

"Flattening the curve means that the peak arrives between May 6 and May 8, and from then the cases will begin to decrease," he said.

In Chile, the number of confirmed cases increased by 1,533 to 24,581, while the death toll rose by four to 285, according to the Ministry of Health.

Health authorities noted that 81 percent of new cases were reported in the Santiago Metropolitan region, one of the hardest-hit areas in the Andean country.

Minister of Health Jaime Manalich said the fatality rate in Chile "has a downward trend" and the peak of the epidemic would occur in early May.

The Colombian Ministry of Health reported on Thursday that the country's confirmed cases rose to 9,456, with 407 deaths in total.

The ministry said the capital Bogota, one of the country's most-affected areas, has acquired two robots that will accelerate the processing rate for rapid COVID-19 tests.

"With these actions, institutions seek to expand the diagnostic capacity for Bogota in order to generate public policies that reduce the spread of the virus and save lives," the ministry said.

The Colombian government has also extended the economic emergency in order to continue mitigating the effects of the pandemic.