By October 1, that number could increase by more than 300,000.
The creators of the model say they assumed that the countries in the projection would follow the guidelines for social distancing. And if prevention measures weaken, mortality may be even higher.
Big populations, big problems
The eight most populous countries in Latin America and the Caribbean – Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile and Ecuador – account for more than 82% of the region’s population.
Thus, it is not surprising that these countries drive exponential growth in both coronavirus and death cases.
Out of a total of 33 countries in the region, these eight countries account for 94% of the total number of cases and 96% of the total mortality.
Brazil is by far the worst offender. The registered cases and deaths – 1,496,858 and 61,884, respectively, as of Thursday, continue to climb. Its seven-day moving average from newly confirmed cases is as high as it once was. Reporting more than 40,000 new cases a day is no longer uncommon.
In Mexico, economic recovery has also been central. In Mexico City, the worst affected part of the country, patrons enjoyed cocktails and appetizers in restaurants this week for the first time since March 23. Hotels, lounges and markets are now allowed to open.
This despite the fact that the death toll was 21,189 as of Thursday night. The mortality rate is approximately twice as high as a month ago and is now higher than in Spain.
Smaller countries in the region are generally doing much better in controlling their outbreaks. Uruguay and Paraguay have fewer than 50 deaths. Belize has registered only 28 common cases since the outbreak.
But health officials are concerned about some of the other smaller countries, such as Costa Rica, which have more than doubled their cases over the past month. The Pan American Health Organization says new cases there could peak by October.
The wide length of the hearth
Economic prospects in Latin America and the Caribbean were not great before the pandemic arrived. It has gotten so much worse since then.
Even countries that have been largely spared the worst health consequences of a pandemic will not be able to avoid the consequences.
Many island nations in the Caribbean have a limited number of cases, but will see huge blows to their economies as tourism, the lifeblood of many, declines rapidly.
Some of these unemployed will come from the airline, with carriers in the region among the worst hit in the world.
Mexican carrier Aeromexico went bankrupt this week, the third airline in the region to do so since the outbreak, joining LatAm Airlines and Avianca Airlines.
Forest fires may not appear to be directly related to a deadly virus. But conservation activists warn that illegal loggers and grubbers took advantage of limited official resources during the pandemic, burning large cities from the forest for financial gain.
Signs of hope
Peru and Chile have reported the sixth and seventh most confirmed cases of the virus worldwide, with a total of nearly 600,000.
But after months of grim news, both sides expressed a more encouraging tone this week.
Chile marks the lowest one-day rise in new cases since May 19. The average daily average for the country also fell significantly after its peak on June 21.
“At the national level, the data are good,” said Chilean Health Minister Enrique Paris. “The country still has a fever, but the fever is much lower,” he continued, referring to the improvement in the number of infections.
On Thursday, Peru marked its sixth consecutive day when the number of people discharged from hospitals was greater than the number of new cases.
Peru’s health ministry said in a statement that Thursday was “… one of its best dates in the fight against the pandemic.”