Pandemic Covid-19: Fear of overloading health system in Latin America

Caring for Covid-19 patients in TP.Manaus, Brazil
Caring for Covid-19 patients in TP.Manaus, Brazil

Latin America continues to be a hot spot during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the number of deaths in this region soared to more than 70,000, overloading the health system.

Brazil is currently the most severely affected, with more than 39,000 deaths, accounting for more than half of Covid-19 deaths in Latin America, according to AFP. In addition, as of June 11, Brazil recorded more than 770,000 cases and hospitals in the country were overcrowded due to the large number of patients.

According to the International Nursing Council organization, about 18,000 Brazilian nurses have Covid-19, of which at least 181 people have died, the second highest in the world. However, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has always lowered the risk of a pandemic, considering Covid-19 to be a “mild flu”, opposing the blockade because of concerns about affecting the economy.

While the rate of infection is still skyrocketing, stores are allowed to reopen on June 10 in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s most populous city. Shopping malls have reopened in many other Brazilian cities since June 11.

At the same time, the reopening also accelerated in many parts of the US despite the number of infections in the country that surpassed the 2 million mark and nearly 113,000 died from Covid-19. Besides, US experts warn that there is evidence that a second outbreak is occurring in some states such as Arizona, Texas, Florida and California, according to Bloomberg.

The European Union (EU) also plans to reopen the border, welcoming outsiders in July. With an economy heavily dependent on tourism, Greece announced it would reopen international routes from June 15. to a number of countries including non-EU countries like Australia, China and South Korea.

As countries gradually relaxed the blockade, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned that a pandemic is likely to cause the worst global economic recession in 100 years.

There is currently no vaccine for Covid-19 and clinical trials are still underway. On June 11, Russia began to market a new antiviral drug, registered as Avifavir. The Russian Health Authority approved and allowed the use of Avifavir to treat Covid-19 patients after the number of infections in the country soared to more than 500,000, the second highest in the world after the United States.