Since the initial outbreak of the coronavirus in China, the world has tracked a pandemic that rapidly spread west, proliferating across Asia and Europe, seeding hot spots across Africa and exploding in North America. For weeks, the United States has been the global epicenter, confirming more than 1.6 million cases, and the number of deaths nearing 100,000.
And now the pandemic appears to be arriving at new milestones. China on Saturday reported no new coronavirus deaths or symptomatic cases for the first time since the virus emerged. And surges of Covid-19 in several of South America’s most populous countries are raising concerns of a new front.
On Friday, Brazil overtook Russia in reporting the second-highest count of infections worldwide, reaching more than 330,000 to date. Peru and Chile rank among the hardest-hit countries in the world in terms of infections per capita, around 1 in 300. And data from Ecuador indicate that the country is suffering one of the worst outbreaks in the world.
Brazil is home to several of the world’s largest metropolises, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. While other countries around the world began sounding the alarm as the virus arrived in February and March, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, largely played down the threat, urging people to continue working and keeping businesses such as gyms and beauty salons open.
Worldwide, the pace of new infections is still climbing with over 100,000 new cases reported daily since Thursday. These numbers are among the very worst since the pandemic began, second only to a single day in April, according to data compiled by The New York Times.
(Bloomberg) — Chile’s government is struggling to control a coronavirus outbreak that’s pushed hospitals toward collapse and could threaten to revive mass social unrest.
With a population of just 18 million, Chile is reporting new Covid-19 cases at a pace comparable to that of Spain at the peak of the virus’s spread in March, on a per-capita basis, and resources are close to maxed out in Latin America’s wealthiest economy.
In Santiago, the nation’s capital, 95% of intensive care beds are occupied, and hospital patients are being airlifted to other parts of the country.
TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Adrián Alonso Gama lived life on both sides of the border, until he got the coronavirus.
On weekends the 37-year-old truck driver would stay at his parents’ home in Tijuana. Thanks to his U.S. green card, he lived in his own place in San Diego during the week, delivering beer and auto parts around the American southwest.
Last week, Gama started feeling sick and returned to Mexico to be close to family. He was diagnosed with COVID-19, becoming one of the more than 1,700 confirmed coronavirus patients who make Tijuana second only to Mexico City in infections, despite the border city’s relatively small population.