By Laura Gamba
BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – Latin America and the Caribbean marked new, grim milestones Monday, surpassing 5 million cases and 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19.
The region has registered a total of 202,390 deaths and 5,000,614 cases, with Brazil and Mexico the worst-hit countries followed by Peru, Colombia and Chile, according to data from US-based Johns Hopkins University.
The number of people infected by the coronavirus in Brazil is approaching 2.8 million with more than 94,000 deaths recorded.
Despite a steep rise in COVID-19 cases in the last few days, Brazil's biggest and worst-affected cities, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are reopening businesses and lifting quarantine restrictions, even as epidemiologists warn that the death toll could increase exponentially.
Mexico overtook the UK with the world’s third-highest number of deaths from the pandemic after the US and Brazil. The country has lifted confinement measures imposed earlier this year.
With a population of about 129 million, Mexico has reported more than 439,000 cases and 47,746 deaths.
Colombia reported a new record of daily coronavirus cases after 10,199 new infections were recorded Monday, bringing the total to 327,850. However, President Iván Duque announced that restaurants and sport activities will resume in September.
Bolivia's interim government said it decided to wrap up the 2020 school year early due to an inability to provide effective online education.
The minister of the presidency, Yerko Nuñez, told reporters at a press conference that "the vast majority of rural areas do not have internet" and that optical fiber "unfortunately only reaches the cities.”
According to Nuñez, school students will automatically pass.
Bolivia has reported a total of 80,153 coronavirus cases and 3,153 deaths.