This Saturday, the number of deaths due to the new coronavirus pandemic has exceeded 200,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. The Americas account for about a third of the 2.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far.
The United States has the largest number of deaths: 53,334. The five largest economies in Latin America, in their turn, already account for 5,810 deaths caused by the new coronavirus, according to local health authorities.
In the region, the feeling is of uncertainty. With not enough tests or data, it’s still hard to know when Latin American countries will reach the peak of infections of COVID-19.
According to an international comparison made by BBC News Brazil based on official data compiled by the University of Oxford, Brazil is one of the countries that least tests for COVID-19.
Until April 20th, according to the Ministry of Health, 132,467 specific tests were carried out for COVID-19. Another 56,613 are under analysis. The figures do not include tests carried out in hospitals and private clinics, only in the public health system.
This means that the proportion of tests per 1,000 inhabitants in Brazil, considering a population of 210 million people, is 0.63, a rate lower than that of many Latin American countries, such as Cuba (2.65), Chile (6.43), Paraguay (0.83), Peru (4.44), Argentina (0.76) and Ecuador (1.15), and also lower than that of developed nations, such as Germany (25, 11) and Italy (23.64), and the United States (12.08), the new epicenter of the pandemic.
Which is certain is that with the arrival of winter in the southern hemisphere, and the high incidence of respiratory diseases expected at this time of year, countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay are expected to experience the worst of the disease in the coming months.