Cases of COVID-19 in Latin America continue to rise, as countries like Brazil and Ecuador become new hotspots for the virus. Some believe these countries are also under-reporting new cases and deaths.
As of June 2, Brazil led the world in new daily deaths from COVID-19 with over 800. That’s down from their high of nearly 1,200 a week ago but shows a clear trend upward over the last few weeks. Other Latin American countries like Ecuador, Mexico and Chile are also seeing deaths spike in their countries.
Many believe deaths from the virus are much greater than what their governments are releasing. At the heart of this are the lackluster responses from government leaders. Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly downsized the severity of COVID-19, comparing it to a small flu and refusing to go into details about death tolls and plans. In Ecuador, protesters were recently beaten by police for protesting peacefully that their government’s response was insufficient, and that the true case numbers and death totals from the virus were being hidden.
Resources for mass testing and programs to educate the public are also scarce for smaller Latin American countries, and misinformation about the virus is spreading just as quickly.