Discussion: A deepening coronavirus crisis in Latin America

The World
Updated on
A man is shown wearing a blue hat and standing in front of dozens of white crosses while painting numbers on the crosses.

As vaccine campaigns start to make an impact in wealthy countries in Europe as well as the United States, many countries in Latin America have continued to struggle with the coronavirus crisis.

Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, has recorded nearly 16 million cases of COVID-19 and the second-highest death toll in the world after the United States, with more than 449,000.

The country’s Senate is conducting an investigation into President Jair Bolsonaro and his government’s handling of the pandemic response. Bolsonaro has controversially resisted restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Elsewhere in the region, Argentina has again imposed new lockdown measures due to surging levels of coronavirus infections and a soaring death toll and Panama has closed its border with Colombia over concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, Latin America is confronting a deepening crisis.

Latin America and the Caribbean now register a million new infections about every six days and has reported more than 31 million infections since the beginning of the pandemic.

With the vaccine rollout lagging and lives and livelihoods hanging in the balance, what is next for the region?

As part of The World’s series of conversations on the pandemic with Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, reporter Elana Gordon moderated a discussion with Marcia Castro, chair of the department of global health and population at Harvard.

This conversation is presented jointly with The Forum at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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