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Latin America is reeling as coronavirus tears through region

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The number of Latin America coronavirus cases is rapidly rising. As are the number of deaths.

The United States remains the No.1 virus hotspot, with more than two million recorded infections – 25 per cent of all reported cases.

But Latin America isn’t far behind, with one in five global cases now found in the region.

And that number is still swiftly climbing.

Brazil’s coronavirus death toll is now second-highest in the world, ahead of Europe’s hardest-hit countries Italy and Spain.

The nation has recorded more than 850,000 cases and 42,000 deaths.

The virus is also spreading rapidly in Chile and Peru, and the number of cases in Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama is also on the up.

Chile

Compared to countries like India or the United Kingdom, where cases have exceeded 290,000, Chile doesn’t ring alarm bells at first glance.

But the country’s infection rate is climbing steeply.

On Monday, more than 9500 new cases were recorded in a single day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The nation has recorded more than 170,000 cases and more than 3300 deaths.

Chile is now among countries with the highest number of daily cases relative to its population size.

The rapid rise in infections has plunged the government into crisis mode and drawn criticism from sectors of the medical community.

On Saturday, shortly after 234 deaths in 24 hours had been confirmed – the highest daily toll to date – health minister Jaime Mañalich resigned.

Peru

Though quick to enter lockdown, cases in Peru have been rising fast.

Some public health experts have claimed living and working conditions in Peru, where a fifth of people live on only around $100 a month, has made it near impossible for many Peruvians to comply with quarantine measures.

There are also fears that markets may have helped spread the killer virus.

The country has recorded more than 230,000 cases and more than 6800 deaths.

During Sunday’s mass, pews at Lima’s Cathedral in the nation’s capital were filled with photos of the more than 6000 people who have died from the coronavirus across the country.

Mexico

Coronavirus cases in Mexico are rising sharply, and will continue to climb as the government moves ahead with easing lockdown restrictions.

On Tuesday, the country recorded more than 3400 cases in a single day.

There have been at least 150,200 confirmed cases in Mexico and more than 17,500 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Critics of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador have argued he was too slow to impose lockdown restrictions and has been too quick to lift them.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has fewer than 2000 recorded cases and 12 deaths, but its infection rate is a serious worry.

On Tuesday, the tiny nation recorded more than 10,000 new cases in one day.

Panama

Panama has more than 21,400 coronavirus cases so far, and 448 deaths.

Like Costa Rica, the country recorded a staggering 10,000 fresh cases in one 24-hour period.

Panama has taken an unusual approach to lockdown, allowing men and women outside on alternate days.