Latin America surpasses 5 million COVID-19 cases, new tally shows

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ASUNCION – Latin America broke 5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, a Reuters tally showed, underscoring the region’s position as the area of ​​the world hardest hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic.The coronavirus was initially slower to reach Latin America – where an estimated 640 million people live – than most other countries in the world. But health experts say it has been difficult to control the virus in poor and densely populated cities in the region.

The more than 10,000 new cases reported by Colombia’s health ministry on Monday pushed the region past the 5 million mark, a day after the Andean nation reported a record 11,470 cases.

Mexico has also racked up a record number of new confirmed infections in recent days, registering more than 9,000 daily cases for the first time on Saturday, a day after Mexico overtook Britain as the country with the third highest number. deaths caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 100 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean live in slums, according to the United Nations Human Settlements Program.

Many have jobs in the informal sector with little social safety net and have continued to work throughout the pandemic.

The region has now passed 200,000 deaths with little sign that the virus is easing even as governments seek to ease lockdowns and revive economic growth.

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