Latin America beefs up anti-virus measures as confirmed cases up

MEXICO CITY (XINHUA) – These days have witnessed a further increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths in Latin America, causing governments to beef up measures to combat the pandemic.

Brazil reported 346 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the country’s death tally to 4,016, with 58,509 confirmed cases, the country’s health ministry reported last Saturday.

The city of Rio de Janeiro announced the opening of its first field hospital to treat patients infected with COVID-19.

The field hospital, built in 19 days, now has 30 beds, 10 of which are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). In the coming days, the hospital will have 200 beds, with 100 in the ICU. On May 1, another field hospital will open in the west of the city with a 500-patient capacity.

The Chilean Ministry of Health confirmed on Saturday that the country has confirmed 12,858 coronavirus cases, along with 181 related deaths.

The ministry said 552 new cases and seven more deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

The Health Ministry’s Undersecretary of Assistance Networks, Arturo Zuniga, said 418 people were treated in the ICU, 321 of whom had been put on ventilators. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera last Saturday said the arrival of 72 new ventilators with life support functions will help the country combat COVID-19.

“We are receiving 72 new mechanical ventilators, which means that we will have more than 622 mechanical ventilators available. We can assure all of our compatriots that we are going to take all necessary measures at the right time,” the president said.

The Peruvian Ministry of Health reported on Saturday that the caseload increased to 25,331, with 700 deaths. The ministry said 3,683 new cases were registered in the country in the last 24 hours.

Peruvian Health Minister Victor Zamora said all hospitals and health centres across the nation are on high alert due to the high spike in infections.

So far, Argentina has confirmed 3,780 infection cases, with 185 deaths. The Argentine government on Saturday decided to extend the lockdown until May 10. “The quarantine has preserved our lives and the lives of others, and even though we have taken important steps, we are far from having resolved the issue. We are still in the midst of a pandemic that has devastated the world,” said Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez.