Don’t Forget About South America

A woman walks in front of a mural that reads “insist, persist, resist and never give up.” Bogota, Colombia, June 21, 2021. Image: Diego Cuevas/Getty
Image credit
A woman walks in front of a mural that reads “insist, persist, resist and never give up.” Bogota, Colombia, June 21, 2021. Image: Diego Cuevas/Getty

While headlines have been trained on the crisis in India and recovery in the US and Europe, South America is in the midst of “a silent decimation by COVID unlike that anywhere else in the world,” The Guardian reported Friday.
 
Home to just 5% of the world’s population, the region accounts for almost a quarter of all COVID-19 deaths, AP reports.
 
Praised as an early success story, Paraguay last week recorded the world’s highest daily proportion of COVID-19 deaths—18.09 deaths per million, compared with 2.71 in India.
 
Across the region, the rise of more contagious variants, crowded neighborhoods, and relaxed restrictions all play a role.
 
Colombia has another added challenge: massive protests against rising economic inequality, The Guardian also reports.
 
President Iván Duque has blamed protesters for the rise in cases—but has also proceeded to reopen the economy while the country is experiencing the world’s third-highest per capita death rate.
 
“The response to the pandemic has been a model of catastrophe. It is a scandal,” said Román Vega, a professor of public health at Bogotá’s Javeriana University.
 
Regardless of who is to blame, health workers are feeling the fallout as ICU capacity hovers around 97% in the 3 largest cities.
 
“We’re exhausted, we’ve fallen sick, and we’re badly paid,” said ICU physician Marisol Bejarano.

Comments +

0 comments

Post a Comment

Restricted HTML

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Back to top