May 20 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic is showing signs of spreading rapidly in South America.
Brazil suffered 1,179 deaths yesterday, its highest in a single day. In total almost 18,000 people had died of Covid-19 in that country.
The surge in the largest South American country came after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro continously dismissed the pandemic as a “little flu”. The country’s rate of infection is now the third highest globally
Chile yesterday deployed soldiers in poor neighbourhoods in Santiago following violent protests against food shortages and unemployment as the government tries to enforce movement restrictions to contain raising number of Covid-19 cases.
Meanwhile in the United States, a new modeling average released yesterday suggested that the country’s Covid-19 deaths could surpass 113,000 by mid-June. The country has recorded more than 91,000 deaths and 1.5 million cases of infection, the most of any country.
Britain has the second highest number of deaths at more than 41,000; while Russia has the second highest number of infections, more than 300,000.
Most countries are now trying to balance between bringing their economies back to life and risking a second wave of the pandemic.
The World Bank warned yesterday that the crisis threatens to push some 60 million people into extreme poverty. The bank anticipates a five percent contraction in the world economy this year, with severe effects on the poorest countries.
The economic damage caused by the virus has led to unprecedented emergency stimulus measures by governments and central banks.
Experts have warned that social distancing measures will remain necessary until a vaccine or viable treatment is found.
There were good news in the race to find a vaccine on Monday when results from a trial by US biotech firm Moderna sparked optimism, while in China, scientists at Peking University said they are developing a drug that can stop the pandemic by using antibodies that can neutralise the virus.