The two largest countries in Latin America reported their highest coronavirus death tolls in a single day on Tuesday, as the World Health Organization (WHO) says the Americas are at the center of the pandemic.
Mexico reported 353 new deaths and 1,997 new cases Tuesday night. The figures renewed concerns about Mexico’s response to the pandemic, as daily death tolls continue to rise. Investigations by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and El País suggest that the Mexican government is undercounting COVID-19 cases and deaths.
On Wednesday May 13th, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the country’s “flattening of the curve” will allow for the reopening of the economy. Mexico has been under pressure by U.S. officials to open businesses.
Brazil also reached its highest number of daily deaths, with 881 reported on Tuesday. It is now the sixth worst affected country in the world, and health professionals continue to call on President Jair Bolsonaro to institute a mandatory lockdown.
As of Tuesday May 12th, only 12 cities have enacted quarantine restrictions. Bolsonaro has yet to comment on the escalation of deaths, even as healthcare workers took to the streets Tuesday evening in protest.
Brazil now has 180,000 confirmed cases and more than 12,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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