Colombia ranks first in one million infections after the US, India, Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Spain and France.
Colombia surpassed one million confirmed coronavirus cases, becoming the second country in Latin America to report that number within a week.
There have been 8,769 new infections in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,007,711 since the first case was discovered on March 6, the country’s health ministry said on Saturday. The death toll has risen to 30,000 since authorities added 198 deaths from the past 10 days.
Argentina hit tens of millions of cases on Monday and Peru and Mexico could reach a terrible mark in the coming weeks.
Brazil ranks third in the world in the number of virus cases and crossed one million infections in June.
With a population of 50 million, Colombia is the eighth country with the highest number of one million infections. In addition to Argentina and Brazil, the rest are the United States, India, Russia, France and Spain, according to Johns Hopkins University statistics.
At an event in Chinchina, Caldas, President Evan Duke stressed that the per capita death rate in Colombia is very low in Latin American countries.
“We did a lot better than other countries. But I say this in a way that I feel proud, because we have to protect ourselves better,” he said.
The president says he has allocated $ 31 billion – “close to 11 percent of GDP” to tackle the crisis.
Colombia went under a national lockdown on March 25 and eased sanctions to boost its collapsing economy, with unemployment in cities hitting an all-time high of 19.6 percent in August.
Since September 1, the country has relied on personal responsibility and the widespread use of masks in public places.
The six-month lockdown has slowly helped the epidemic and given authorities time to expand the number of ICU beds. As the capacity of the hospital expanded and cases in Bogota increased at once, the city found a bed to prevent horrific scenes not seen anywhere else in the area of patients queuing outside hospitals.
Overall, Latin America continues to diagnose more than 100,000 confirmed infections every day and record the highest number of cases, but the World Health Organization reports that Europe is now seeing a second wave of virus attacks in large numbers.
Experts said the area would experience a table-top-like effect, rather than a dramatic drop in these cases. In many countries, the virus has begun to spread to areas where very few cases have been reported in the past.
“The behavior of the virus is different,” said Dr. Louis Jorge Hernandez, a professor of public health at Andes University in Colombia. “It’s not a big revival, but a new outbreak.”
The path of the virus through Latin America is the evolution of weak public health systems, social factors such as poverty, and early government decisions that were found to be flawed or limited testing and little contact.
Today, the region is home to half of the world’s top 10 countries.
Al Jazeera ‘s Daniel Schwimler, reporting from the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, described the situation on the continent as “terrible”.
“There should be very few bright spots anywhere. And the numbers just seem to be growing,” he said.
Noting the World Bank’s forecast of 7.2 percent economic growth in Latin America this year, he said: “Businesses are closing, tens of thousands of people are losing their jobs and many more need to move. Into the streets. ”