South America, “a new epicenter” of the pandemic

Geneva | South America is a “new epicenter” of the pandemic of novel coronavirus, with a particularly alarming situation in Brazil, said on Friday the world health Organization (WHO).

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“South America has become a new epicenter for the disease. We see the number of cases increase in many south american countries. The concern is many of these countries, but clearly the most affected at this point is Brazil,” said the head of emergency situations of the WHO, Michael Ryan, when a virtual conference from Geneva.

While Europe, where the COVID-19 has killed more than 170,000 people, is moving towards a slow normalization, South America recorded an increase inexorable of the pandemic, with dire consequences in terms of economy and employment.

L’Amérique du Sud, «un nouvel épicentre» de la pandémie

Brazil has close to 300 000 and 19 000 deaths to 210 million inhabitants, according to the WHO, which places it in 3rd place worldwide for the number of cases, behind the United States and Russia. The threshold of 20 000 has already been reached, according to a count by the AFP.

“The majority of cases are identified in the Sao Paolo region (…), but the prevalence rate was highest (in the State) of Amazonas, where about 490 people per 100 000 are infected, which is quite high,” said Michael Ryan.

A collective of brazilian researchers advance that the official figures grossly underestimate the reality of the pandemic in Brazil.

According to them they are at least 15 times lower than reality, and the country is estimated to be over 3.6 million people infected.