BOGOTA – Latin American countries have been witnessing a significant increase in coronavirus cases, triggering concerns of a possible second wave of infections with the detection of new strains of the virus.
The health crisis is exacerbating across the region, including in major countries like Argentina and Brazil.
Brazil registered a record 90,570 COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours on Friday.
It took the total number of confirmed cases to 11,871,390, according to the daily figures released by the health ministry.
Argentina recorded 8,160 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total infections to 2,234,913.
The total number of deaths in Argentina increased to 54,476 after 113 fatalities in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said.
Health Minister Carla Vizzotti advised citizens against traveling abroad to minimize the introduction of new strains of the virus, but ruled out the re-imposition of stringent lockdown.
Moreover, 2,815 deaths from the coronavirus were recorded in the last 24 hours – the second-highest figure after a record 2,841 deaths on Tuesday –, taking the total to over 290,000 fatalities.
Uruguay detected a record 1,616 cases on Friday, taking the total infections to 78,401 since a health emergency was imposed in March last year.
Eleven people aged 27-88 died in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of lives claimed by the disease to 760.
Julio Pontet, head of the country’s Intensive Medicine Society, told EFE that they expected the number of patients under intensive care to increase in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Paraguay has sounded a red alert across the country’s healthcare system due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
The South American country recorded 42 deaths on Friday, its highest in a single day and one more than on Monday, taking the total number to 3,662 in a country of 7 million people.
The total number of cases went up to 190,499 after 2,006 fresh infections were detected in the last 24 hours – the second-highest after Thursday when 2,605 cases were recorded, according to official figures.
Venezuela detected 937 infections amid a growing trend in the daily number of cases, which the government declared a “second wave.”
“A second wave has started in Venezuela, which is much more virulent,” Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said.
Venezuela now has a total of 149,145 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 1,475 deaths.
Guatemalan authorities reported on Friday 908 fresh infections and 24 deaths, taking the total to 186,740 cases and 6,663 fatalities.
The health ministry of Panama, a country of just 4.2 million people, reported 715 fresh infections and 10 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total confirmed cases to 350,220 and 6,035 deaths.