By Laura Gamba
BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – Latin America surpassed 10 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, according to a tally by US-based Johns Hopkins University.
At least 10,050,000 infections and 369,000 deaths have been recorded in the region, the area of the world hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
With over 212 million inhabitants, Brazil has reported more than 150,000 deaths from the coronavirus, according to the country’s health ministry.
Brazil has the second highest death toll in the world after the US, but there are signs that the rate of infections is slowing in the South American country. Experts worry that the country could be facing a second wave of the outbreak even before the first one is over.
President Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed the virus as a “little flu” and opposed lockdowns, even though he was infected with the disease.
Colombia reported 7,767 new cases and 151 deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, taking its national death toll to 28,318.
The nation's health authorities have shown concern over a recent spike in infections, which is why the country could be placed under quarantine if the number of new cases continues to increase.
Colombia began more than five months of lockdown in March but started loosening quarantine measures in September, allowing dining at restaurants and international flights.
Mexico has over 817,500 cases 83,700 deaths. The country has the world’s fourth highest death toll after the US, Brazil and India.
Although Mexico has fewer cases than other Latin American countries, it has suffered a high number of deaths compared to its neighbors.
Demonstrators took to the streets in cities across Argentina on Monday to protest against President Alberto Fernandez’s new extension of quarantine measures against COVID-19.
Argentina on Monday reported 9,524 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 318 additional fatalities, bringing the total to 903,730 cases and 24,186 deaths.
Peru opened the Machu Pichu ruins for a single Japanese tourist after he waited almost seven months to enter the site while trapped in the country during the coronavirus outbreak.
“He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to come,” Minister of Culture Alejandro Neyra said in a virtual press conference Monday.
Peru has reported 33,305 coronavirus-related deaths and 849,371 cases so far. International flights recently resumed, but the country's tourism industry has been devastated by the pandemic.
Authorities in Chile are concerned over the rise of coronavirus cases in three southern regions of the country.
The Ministry of Health reported 1,517 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total caseload to 482,832, with 13,376 deaths from the disease.