Latin American countries, most of which imposed lockdowns in March to contain the novel coronavirus, are struggling to enforce quarantines in the face of rising economic hardships. Many have begun gradually easing confinement measures to revive their economies.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro told CNN on Monday that he has symptoms of COVID-19.
Bolsonaro, who turned 65 in March, said he had a fever and an oxygen rate of 96% in his blood. He also said he was taking hydroxychloroquine. Due to the symptoms, the president's activities have been canceled for the rest of the week.
According to CNN Brasil, the president was tested for COVID-19 at the Armed Forces Hospital in Brasília. The results should be revealed around noon Tuesday.
Brazil has surpassed 1.6 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and reported 65,487 deaths. The country’s rising number of COVID-19 cases comes as its largest city, Sao Paulo, reopens bars, restaurants, beauty salons and barbershops.
President Martín Vizcarra’s government has eased restrictions this month to allow economic growth to revive. Shopping malls have reopened and the government announced that it will restart domestic air and land transport from mid-July.
Peru’s death toll from the virus now stands at 10,772, while its confirmed cases total 305,703.
Amid a worrying increase in the occupation of intensive care units in Colombia’s capital Bogota, the government has bought new ventilators to increase availability. However, due to a lack of trained doctors, some of these life-saving machines will be useless, at least for a while.
The country has officially reported over 117,000 cases and 4,305 deaths.
The arrival of the influenza season in the fall and a likely spike in coronavirus infections with the colder weather could prolong the virus epidemic until April 2021, the country's undersecretary of health, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, said Monday.
As of Monday, Mexico had 261,750 cases of coronavirus and 31,119 deaths related to the virus.
Nicaragua will treat patients with COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine donated by India. Several countries have determined that the drug, which is used for the treatment of malaria, does not bring benefits against the disease.
Nicaragua is one of the few countries that did not impose a lockdown amid the pandemic and did not ban large sporting events. The country has reported 2,519 cases and 83 deaths, but healthcare workers’ independent networks say the country may be underreporting coronavirus cases.