Politics

Graphic: LatAm taking over COVID-19 death figures

3rd September 2020

By The Essential Staff

Graphic: LatAm taking over COVID-19 death figures

First, the focus was on China. Then, it moved onto Europe. Now, the center of the COVID-19 pandemic is in Latin America, which is moving up in all the wrong charts as the disease spreads out of control in most countries of the region.

</p> <img class="wp-image-10777 aligncenter" src="https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/03-sep-01-1.jpg" alt="Latin American countries are taking over in terms of COVID-19 deaths per capita" width="679" height="546" srcset="https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/03-sep-01-1.jpg 2500w, https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/03-sep-01-1-300x241.jpg 300w, https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/03-sep-01-1-1024x822.jpg 1024w, https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/03-sep-01-1-768x617.jpg 768w, https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/03-sep-01-1-1536x1234.jpg 1536w, https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/03-sep-01-1-2048x1645.jpg 2048w, https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/03-sep-01-1-600x482.jpg 600w" sizes="(max-width: 679px) 100vw, 679px" /> <p>Despite holding one of the <a href="https://gettheessential.com/economy/2020/08/13/will-argentinas-economy-bounce-after-the-pandemic">strictest lockdowns in the world</a> for almost six months, Peru has now surpassed Belgium as the country with more reported deaths per capita in the world. And the rest of the region is also rising, with <strong>8 Latin American countries now in the world&#8217;s top 15 in terms of deaths per capita</strong> (small nations with less than 100,000 inhabitants were excluded from the <a href="https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/">original dataset</a>). If North America is also included, the sustained rise also seen in the US would take that total up to 9.</p> <p>Worryingly, there are no signs that the pandemic is close to being controlled in any of these nations. Unlike Europe or China, where daily deaths have plummeted, in most Latin American countries (and the US) they remain stable or up, so a full takeover of the top 10 deaths per capita ranking is to be expected in the short term, overtaking nations whose health care systems were famously overwhelmed a few months ago like Italy or Spain.</p> <p>Another sign that the pandemic is far from being controlled in the region comes from <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-testing">test positivity numbers</a>, where Latin America ranks at the top, with several areas seeing one positive test out of every two, far from recommended standards, and a sure sign that the disease is spreading far beyond what the health care systems can detect and isolate, as the chart below shows.</p> <img class="wp-image-10778 aligncenter" src="https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/tests.png" alt="COVID-19 test positivity according to Our World in Data" width="645" height="414" srcset="https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/tests.png 992w, https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/tests-300x193.png 300w, https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/tests-768x493.png 768w, https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/tests-600x385.png 600w" sizes="(max-width: 645px) 100vw, 645px" /> <p>Although no reliable positivity data exists for around half the countries in the world (many of them poor and thus likely to fall short on testing), the Latin American countries that do have it are above all the others on record.</p> <p>

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The Essential Staff

The Essential is a premium subscription-based news platform that brings you high quality journalism and in-depth coverage in English about the changing face of Argentina’s politics and economy.