South America is “a new epicenter” of the new coronavirus pandemic, with a particularly alarming situation in Brazil, said the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday.
“South America has become a new epicenter of the disease. We see the number of cases increasing in many South American countries. The concern concerns many of these countries but clearly the most affected at this stage is Brazil” , said WHO emergency manager Michael Ryan at a virtual conference from Geneva.
As Europe, where Covid-19 killed more than 170,000 people, progresses towards slow normalization, South America records an inexorable progression of the pandemic, with terrible foreseeable consequences in terms of economy and employment.
Brazil has nearly 300,000 cases and 19,000 deaths for 210 million inhabitants, according to the WHO, which places it in 3rd place in the world for the number of cases, behind the United States and Russia. The threshold of 20,000 dead has already been crossed, according to an AFP count.
“The majority of cases are recorded in the Sao Paolo region (…) but the highest prevalence rates are (in the state) of Amazonas, where approximately 490 people per 100,000 inhabitants are infected, which is high enough, “added Michael Ryan.
A group of Brazilian researchers suggests that official figures greatly underestimate the reality of the pandemic in Brazil.
According to them they are at least 15 times lower than the reality and the country has more than 3.6 million people infected.