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Latin America exceeds 5 million COVID-19 cases

Latin America continues to be the most infected region in the world, surpassing 5 million confirmed cases of the ravaging coronavirus on Monday.

The COVID-19 pandemic was initially slower to reach Latin America than much of the world. However, health experts say that the region, which is home to about 640 million people, is struggling as it seeks to control the virus due to the region’s poverty and densely packed cities.

According to data from John Hopkins University, the region has 5,019,606 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The latest figures show that Latin America has now topped 200,000 deaths. Brazil, the epicenter of the pandemic in the region, has reported 94,665 and Mexico reported 48,010. 

The two countries have the world’s second and third highest death tolls, after the United States.

The United States-Canada is the region with the second highest number of cases, with 4,777,981 infections followed by Europe and Asia, which have around 3 million infections each. 

Top 10 Latin American countries hardest hit by COVID-9

Brazil: 2,750,318 cases; 96,665 deaths

Mexico: 443,813 cases; 48,012 deaths

Peru: 442,813 cases; 19,881 deaths

Chile: 361,493 cases; 9,707 deaths. 

Colombia: 327,352 cases; 10,998 deaths

Argentina: 206,743 cases; 3,813 deaths

Ecuador: 87,041 cases; 5,767 deaths

Bolivia: 81,846 cases; 3,228 deaths

Dominican Republic: 73,117 cases; 1,183 deaths

Panama: 68,456 cases; 1,496 deaths.

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Along with Brazil and Mexico, three other Latin American countries are included among the top 10 countries most impacted by the virus.

Peru is seventh in the globe with 433,100 cases, followed by Chile, which is eighth in the list with 361,493 cases. 

Colombia is ninth with 327,352 cases. Its health ministry reported more than 10,000 cases on Monday, a day after the Andean nation filed a record 11,470 cases. 

Latin America is particularly vulnerable to the virus due to high levels of poverty, urbanization and labor informality, according to a July 30 report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Pan American Health Organization.

More than 100 million people across Latin America and the Caribbean live in slums, according to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. 

Many have jobs in the informal sector with little in the way of a social safety net and have continued to work throughout the pandemic. 

‘The pandemic has become an unprecedented economic and social crisis and, if urgent measures are not taken, it could transform into a food, humanitarian, and political crisis,’ the report warned.

Latin America has also a high death rate from the virus, likely due to a number of factors, including high levels of underlying conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

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