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COVID-19 and its effects in Latin America

Follow the main news about coronavirus and its impacts in Latin America

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  • October 28, 20 - 3:34 pm - Reuters

    Mexican president slams European coronavirus lockdown measures

    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Wednesday blasted European countries for adopting strict lockdowns to stem the spread of coronavirus, suggesting they smacked of authoritarianism.

    Germany and France were on Wednesday preparing to announce restrictions approaching the level of spring’s blanket lockdowns as COVID deaths across Europe surged.

    National or local authorities have already imposed nighttime curfews in several European countries, including France, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic.

    Speaking at a regular news conference, Lopez Obrador voiced regret at the measures being taken in Europe and urged governments to show more faith in their populations.

    “What it expresses is an authoritarian urge by the authorities, by the government, with all due respect, on the part of those who opt for this,” he said when asked if Mexico could adopt tougher measures to halt rising coronavirus cases.

    “Curfews aren’t a sign of faith in people. It’s putting yourself above as authority and seeing citizens as children, like they don’t understand. Not even in its worst moments did Europe have these curfews and all these measures.”

    Mexico has officially registered over 901,000 coronavirus cases and 89,800 deaths, though authorities admit the number of cases and the death toll are likely significantly higher.

    The government has warned infections are rising in parts of Mexico and asked the public to adhere to social distancing norms and avoid large crowds as traditional celebrations near that annually attract hundreds of thousands of people.

    Late last week, the northern border state of Chihuahua returned to the highest phase of coronavirus alert.

    Lopez Obrador called on Mexicans to practice personal hygiene, social distancing and act responsibly. “And no to using coercive measures,” he said. “This is not resolved with that.”

  • October 28, 20 - 3:14 pm - LABS

    Russia applies to WHO for an emergency license to use Sputnik V

    Due to studies as the recent one by Imperial College that shows that the COVID-19 immunity acquired by the cured people falls quite quickly, reported O Globo, and a second wave of the disease already sweeping Europe, Russia applied to WHO on Tuesday for a license for the emergency use of Sputnik V, its most advanced testing vaccine, according to Reuters.

    In Brazil, there are two initiatives to produce the Russian vaccine. The pharmaceutical company União Quimica signed an agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to produce it starting in the second half of November and the government of Paraná has a partnership to test and produce this vaccine.

    Russia was the first country to grant regulatory approval to a vaccine, and did so before large-scale trials were complete. WHO has not yet given a deadline to respond to the Russian request.

  • October 28, 20 - 11:42 am - Reuters

    Mexico passes 900,000 confirmed coronavirus cases

    Mexico‘s health ministry reported on Tuesday 5,942 additional cases of the novel coronavirus and 643 more deaths in the country, bringing the official number of cases to 901,268 and the death toll to 89,814.

    Health officials have said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases. On Sunday, the ministry said the true death toll from Covid-19 may be around 50,000 higher.

    A man signs a document after employees of the Rios funeral home moved the body of a family member, who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), to a funeral parlour in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, October, 2020. Photo: Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez
  • October 26, 20 - 9:23 am - LABS

    AstraZeneca’s vaccine has a robust immune response on elderly: FT

    The Financial Times reported this Monday that the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has produced a robust immune response in elderly people, the most vulnerable group to COVID-19, according to two people familiar with the finding. The immunizer is in the final stages of trials. The Brazilian government has a partnership to have the AstraZeneca’s vaccine, as the country already ordered 100 million doses.

  • October 24, 20 - 11:50 am - LABS

    Chile surpasses 500,000 COVID-19 cases, Colombia reaches 1 million

    Chile has more than 500,000 coronavirus cases since the outbreak began in March, the health ministry said on Saturday, reported Reuters.

    In Colombia, even though the Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz Gómez, said that the COVID-10 cases in the country have been reduced during the last two months, according to La República, Colombia reached 1 million confirmed cases this Saturday, reported Portafolio.

    Colombia is the 8th country in the world to reach 1 million cases. In incidence of the virus, Colombia appears in 26th place worldwide, with 19,461 cases per million inhabitants.

    According to Reuters, Mexico’s health ministry reported on Friday 6,604 additional cases of the coronavirus and 418 more deaths in the country, bringing the official number of cases to 880,775 and the death toll to 88,312. As for Brazil, on Friday the country recorded 30,026 additional confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, and 571 deaths, the Health Ministry said.

  • October 23, 20 - 3:10 pm - LABS

    Peruvian government announces resuming of international flights for trips that last up to eight hours

    The President of Peru, Martín Vizcarra, announced on Wednesday that international flights may last up to 8 hours from November, as part of the resumption of trips abroad that began on October 5, reported Gestión.

    Vizcarra assured that the government will be stricter with the entry of foreigners since some visitors would have entered the country without the required negative molecular test.

  • October 23, 20 - 3:03 pm - LABS

    Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru lost a combined 30 million jobs due to COVID-19

    In the second quarter of 2020, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru lost a combined 30 million jobs, with female, young and low-educated workers hit particularly hard. That’s what the new Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere, by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), points out when it comes to Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Read more about it

  • October 21, 20 - 8:04 pm - LABS

    Pfizer and BioNTech to produce 2 million COVID-19 vaccines to Ecuador

    The pharmaceuticals Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Wednesday an agreement with the Ecuadorian government to supply an mRNA-based vaccine against COVID-19, reported Dialoguemos. The vaccine is still subject to the success of the clinical trials and regulatory approval.

    The Ecuadorian government will receive 2 million doses after authorization from the National Agency for Health Regulation, Control, and Surveillance (Arcsa, in Spanish). The media outlet says that financial details were not disclosed and deliveries of the vaccine will be made progressively until 2021.

  • October 21, 20 - 2:37 pm - Reuters

    AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteer has died, Brazil health authority says

    Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has died, stating it had received data from an investigation into the matter.

    The University of Oxford’s Brazilian trials will continue after the death of a volunteer, the university said, adding an independent review had revealed no safety concerns.

    “Following careful assessment of this case in Brazil, there have been no concerns about safety of the clinical trial and the independent review in addition to the Brazilian regulator have recommended that the trial should continue,” a spokesman for the university said in a statement.

    The vaccine has been licenced to AstraZeneca.

    The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is helping coordinate phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil, separately said that the volunteer was Brazilian but did not say where the person lived.

    AstraZeneca shares turned negative and were down 1.7%.

    The federal government already has plans to purchase the UK vaccine and produce it at its biomedical research center FioCruz in Rio de Janeiro, while a competing vaccine from China’s Sinovac is being tested by Sao Paulo state’s research center Butantan Institute.

    Brazil has the second deadliest outbreak of coronavirus, with more than 154,000 killed by COVID-19, following only the United States. It is the third worst outbreak in terms of cases, with more than 5.2 million infected, after the United States and India.

    The Brazilian trial would have been suspended if the volunteer who died had been part of the active arm, a source familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

    The comment would suggest the volunteer was part of the comparative control group, which is given a meningitis jab.

    Participants and investigators are not told which group they are in.

    Also, earlier this Wednesday, the Brazilian Health Ministry announced that its Minister Eduardo Pazuello has tested positive for the virus, making him the latest Brazilian official, including Bolsonaro, to do so.

    (Updated at 3:31 pm)

  • October 21, 20 - 1:55 pm - Reuters

    Brazilian Ministry announces the purchase of Sinovac vaccine; Bolsonaro rejects the plan

    Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and a high-ranking health official said on Wednesday the federal government will not buy a COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac, one day after the health minister said it would be included in the nation’s immunization program.

    Read more about it

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