Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera 28 Feb 2020

Coronavirus in Latin America: Health officials on alert


Health officials across Latin America are bracing for a surge in coronavirus cases as the summer holiday season comes to an end.
The continent's first case was recorded in Brazil on Wednesday.

Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman reports from Chile's capital Santiago, where preparations for an outbreak are already under way.

Coronavirus cases in Central and South America have now exceeded 100,000. But Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro joined crowds at a public rally in Brasilia on Sunday and criticized coronavirus lockdown measures imposed by state governors. Brazil has the most infections in Latin America, but Bolsonaro has downplayed the threat and is pushing to reopen the economy. Meanwhile, the coronavirus continues to spread in Latin America. Colombia is one of a number of countries that have imposed restrictions to try to reduce rates of infection. But as DW's Nicole Fröhlich reports, some people and businesses are failing to stick to the new rules - with potentially lethal consequences.
Compared to Asia, Europe and North America, the coronavirus pandemic came late to Latin America.

But now the region is feeling the full effect on its already stretched healthcare systems and economy.

Here's the latest from our reporters from Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia and Nicaragua.

Produced by Mohamed Madi
Mother's Day in Latin America was celebrated in spite of social distancing and lockdowns to protect against the growing death toll in the region due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Brazil, Ecuador and Chile have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19.
But in spite of that, people still found novel ways to show their appreciation.

Al Jazeera's Manuel Rapalo reports.
The reproduction number (or R-value) describes how many people a person with coronavirus will infect on average.

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