The worst of the coronavirus outbreak is almost certainly yet to come, and it seems we are reaching the end of the beginning. We are about to witness what is going to happen when the virus takes hold in poorer countries, with Latin America emerging as its next target.
Yesterday, things got even worse for Brazil, who recorded 20,000 new cases and 888 new deaths, which means it will likely soon become the second worst affected nation in the world soon. Peru also surpasses 100,000 coronavirus cases, according to Al Jazeera. Prior to the latest developments, the Essential Millennial reported on what makes Brazil’s challenge unique compared to the hard-hit nations of the “Global North”, and it seems that our worst fears have been realized in that the virus’ battleground has now shifted towards the far more vulnerable developing nations of the world – starting with Latin America.
Brazil now has 291,579 cases and almost 18,859 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University and those numbers are rising at an alarming rate. Peru has 104,020 confirmed cases and over 3,000 dead, making it the second-worst affected nation in South America. In North America, Mexico has reported 56,594 cases and over 6,000 deaths, while Chile has 53,617 cases, but a far lower tally of 544 deaths. Chile’s relatively low fatality rate likely boils down to the free access to public healthcare and publicly subsidised access to private healthcare in the country. It boasts far and away the most comprehensive healthcare policies on the continent and will likely be a unique outlier in terms of its lower fatality rate.
The WHO recorded a record number of new cases globally yesterday, with 106,000 new infections for just one day, raising huge concerns over the state of affairs in poor nations.
And, while South America is showing clear signs of a spike in infections, across the Atlantic, many African nations’ cases are rising into the thousands with places like Congo (1,731), Cote D’Ivoire (2,231), Ghana (6,269), Sudan (3,138), Nigeria (6,677) and Cameroon (3,733) starting to see their cases spike.
COVID-19 is no longer a disease playing out only in the first world, but is starting to hit places that have high comorbidities like HIV, tuberculosis and lower respiratory tract infections. And, of course, these are largely rural nations with very poor access to healthcare.
So, while many people will argue that COVID-19 has low fatality rates, the chances of people dying in these parts of the world is significantly higher. Chances are that, before long, we will not be counting death tolls in tens or hundreds of thousands, but in the millions.
There are 5,000,038 confirmed cases of coronavirus globally, and 328,172 people have lost their lives to the virus. And things are about to get a lot worse.