On Saturday, data from Johns Hopkins University stated that over one million people have succumbed to COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean. Although the population in the region is only over 8 percent of the world’s population the reported deaths have exceed 29 percent of the fatalities across the world.
In a statement on Friday, Carissa F. Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said that it was a tragic milestone for everyone in the region. She added that the pandemic was far from over and that it was taking a severe toll in Latin America and the Caribbean.
On the same day, PAHO also reported that only three percent of citizens in this region have been vaccinated. She mentioned that the low numbers may be due an over dependency “on imports for essential medical supplies.” Earlier on Wednesday, she had stated that the region used less than four percent of indigenous medical products during the pandemic.
She has also said that it was a must to expand their regional capacity to manufacture medical supplies — mainly vaccines. She also mentioned that both Latin America and the Caribbean have been put to test by the pandemic and they urgently needed more vaccines.
On Monday, President Joe Biden had announced that the U.S. would send 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved. The total number of vaccines that would be sent by the nation to other countries would now total 80 million by the end of June.
Three of the larger countries in Latin America — Brazil, Mexico and Colombia have accounted for most of the one million deaths in the region. Brazil, with the highest death toll in the region accounted for 44.5 percent of the region’s deaths while Mexico reported 221,000 deaths, which is the second highest in the region. Colombia and Peru are also reporting increasing number of fatalities.
The top eight countries in the world, who reported the highest number of deaths per capita, belong to Latin America. Overall, the death toll in Brazil could be the third highest in the world as India is catching up in the total death numbers and America is the nation who has reported the most number of deaths. Mexico has the fourth largest death toll in the world.