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NICOLAS DELUCA

FILE – In this May 18, 2020 file photo, Jimena Aballe directs her neighbors as they disinfect their own streets in the Villa 31 neighborhood to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina reached 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, according to the Ministry of Health. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

USHUAIA, Argentina (AP) — At the edge of Argentina in a city known as “The End of the World,” many thought they might be spared from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Sitting far from the South American nation’s bustling capital, health workers in Ushuaia were initially able to contain a small outbreak among foreigners hoping to catch boats to the Antarctic at the start of the crisis. 

But as Argentina passed 1 million virus cases Monday, it is now smaller cities like Ushuaia that are seeing some of the most notable upticks. Doctors have had to quadruple the number of beds for COVID-19 patients over the last month. At least 60% of those tested recently are coming back positive for the virus.

“We were the example of the country,” said Dr. Carlos Guglielmi, director of the Ushuaia Regional Hospital. “Evidently someone arrived with the coronavirus.” 

Across Latin America, three other nations are expected to reach the 1 million case milestone in the coming weeks — Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The grim mark comes as Latin America continues to register some of the world’s highest daily case counts. And though some nations have seen important declines, overall there has been little relief, with cases dropping in one municipality only to escalate in another. 

The trajectory is showing that the pandemic is likely to leave no corner of Latin America unscathed. 

“The second wave is arriving without ever having finished the first,” said Dr. Luis Jorge Hernández, a public health professor at the University of the Andes in Colombia. 

Argentina has seen cases spiral despite instituting one of the world’s longest lockdowns. Colombia’s major cities have seen a dip, but smaller areas like the department of Caldas in the coffee region are only now reaching a peak. Peru’s overall numbers have dropped, but officials recently reported 12 regions are spiking back up. Mexico, likewise, has seen a rise in a quarter of all states over the last week. 

The result is that rather than a second virus wave like that being seen in Europe, epidemiologists anticipate a more sustained, plateau-like trend. 

“Our countries are still getting out of the first wave,” said Dr. Marcos Espinal, director of the Pan American Health Organization’s Department of Communicable Diseases. “A great part of the population remains exposed and community transmission continues.” 

The virus’ cruel path through Latin America is a consequence of weak public health systems, social factors like poverty and poor government decisions early on that resulted in flawed or limited testing and little contact tracing. Today the region is home to half the 10 countries with the highest total cases around the globe. 

Argentina initially registered low virus case numbers but now has one of the highest rates of new daily infections per capita, according to Our World in Data, a non-profit online scientific publication based at the University of Oxford. It is on par with several European countries that are experiencing a resurgence of the virus. 

Dr. Adolfo Rubinstein, a former Argentine health minister, said the nation depended too heavily on lockdowns as its primary means of controlling the virus, failing to purchase enough tests in the initial months of the pandemic. 

Where the virus is appearing is also shifting. Initially, up to 90% of the confirmed cases were in metropolitan Buenos Aires. Today, 65% of Argentina’s cases are in its provinces and even faraway places like Ushuaia, authorities said. 

“Now it is everywhere in the country,” Rubinstein said. 

Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, director of the Americas branch of the World Health Organization, warned recently that the coronavirus is appearing in places that were previously not affected, with high numbers popping up in regions like the English-speaking Caribbean. 

“In many countries, the pandemic has also moved to less populated areas,” she said. 

That can be seen not just in Argentina but in Colombia as well. The city of Manizales in a region known for its coffee farms now registers 440.98 cases per 100,000 residents, far higher than the nationwide average of 284.09 per 100,000, according to the Ministry of Health. Officials say the slower rise in cases allowed them to expand ICU capacity. 

“Here we didn’t have a peak like in Europe,” Hernández said. “We had a plateau.” 

Throughout the region, testing remains a hurdle. In Peru, officials have relied heavily on antibody tests to identify cases — even though the tests are not designed to make a diagnosis because they can only detect proteins that develop a week or more after infection. Argentina’s testing is still far below that of neighboring countries; on Sunday, just 13,890 were tested, compared to 31,988 the same day in Colombia.

The high percentage coming back positive in Argentina suggests the country is still likely missing vast numbers of infections. 

Brazil reached 1 million cases in June and now is up to 5.2 million for the pandemic. 

“These are huge undercounts of what is really going on in terms of numbers,” said Felicia Knaul, director of the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas at the University of Miami. “We need more consistent mask use — but we have to couple that with testing and tracing — or else the numbers are going to rise tremendously.” 

In Ushuaia, officials believe truckers carrying in produce from the Buenos AIres region may be responsible for the rise in cases since mid-September. The city famous as a departure point for cruises to the Antarctic had been a model for the nation. Closed off air travel and a halt on tourism left it virus free for months. 

But that false sense of comfort may have led people to relax on basic pandemic norms like hand washing and social distancing. The Tierra del Fuego province, which has a population of about 150,000, now has over 8,000 confirmed cases. 

In Ushuaia, anxious residents line up in their cars for drive-thru testing. A sports center that had been empty is now set up to take care of patients. One month ago, the regional hospital was treating just seven COVID-19 patients; now it has 28, occupying all of its bed set aside for adults with the illness.

“The failure in Argentina was the low amount of testing,” Guglielmi said. 

José Bongiovanni, a lawyer in Ushuaia, said a worry that seemed distant now feels close.

“Living at the end of the world was never easy,” he said. “It’s a lot less easy in a moment like this.” 

Associated Press

Reported Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 215 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances. The day is reset after midnight GMT+0. The list of countries and territories and their continental regional classification is based on the United Nations Geoscheme. Sources are provided under “Latest Updates”Learn more about Worldometer’s COVID-19 data


Report coronavirus cases

#Country,
Other
Total
Cases
New
Cases
Total
Deaths
New
Deaths
Total
Recovered
Active
Cases
Serious,
Critical
Tot Cases/
1M pop
Deaths/
1M pop
Total
Tests
Tests/
1M pop
Population
World40,639,204+3,9041,122,953+19530,352,6969,163,55572,7715,214144.1
1USA8,456,653225,222 5,503,2682,728,16315,50125,503679127,057,107383,176331,589,837
2India7,594,736115,236 6,730,617748,8838,9445,4878395,083,97668,6981,384,085,979
3Brazil5,251,127154,226 4,681,659415,2428,31824,65172417,900,00084,031213,015,720
4Russia1,415,31624,366 1,075,904315,0462,3009,69716754,300,208372,038145,953,533
5Spain1,015,79533,992 N/AN/A1,85721,72372715,503,165331,54546,760,297
6Argentina1,002,66226,716 803,965171,9814,39222,1245892,626,40657,95245,320,654
7Colombia965,88329,102 867,96168,8202,11518,9225704,467,05187,51151,045,852
8France910,27733,623 105,935770,7192,09913,93651513,765,883210,75465,317,424
9Peru870,87633,820 784,05653,0001,09426,3031,0214,249,458128,34733,109,207
10Mexico854,926+3,69986,338 +171623,494145,0942,6176,6106682,187,98516,917129,339,873
11UK741,21243,726 N/AN/A59210,90164329,922,135440,07067,993,982
12South Africa705,25418,492 635,25751,50554611,8463114,565,98076,69759,532,742
13Iran534,63130,712 431,36072,5594,7716,3413644,540,45553,85184,314,980
14Chile493,30513,676 465,02114,60876925,7397143,929,612205,03419,165,653
15Iraq430,67810,317 363,53256,82945410,6372552,644,77065,32140,488,958
16Italy423,57836,616 252,959134,0037977,00960613,639,444225,68960,434,663
17Bangladesh390,2065,681 305,59978,9262,362342,178,71413,190165,182,885
18Germany373,7319,899 294,80069,0328514,45611819,276,507229,85183,865,285
19Indonesia365,24012,617 289,24363,3801,331464,092,59514,915274,392,799
20Philippines359,1696,675 310,30342,1911,5623,265614,398,49839,980110,017,637
21Turkey349,5199,371 305,42734,7211,4474,13111112,524,561148,02484,611,718
22Saudi Arabia342,5835,201 328,8958,4878449,7951497,403,020211,66234,975,613
23Pakistan323,4526,659 307,4099,3845261,456304,101,11518,460222,164,485
24Israel304,8762,263 278,39424,21963433,1472464,226,477459,5209,197,590 
25Ukraine303,6385,673 126,489171,4761776,9561302,765,78763,35843,653,015
26Netherlands236,2266,768 N/AN/A40613,7773952,872,319167,51717,146,399
27Belgium222,25310,413 21,158190,68241219,1528974,112,480354,37411,604,914
28Canada201,4379,778 169,67121,9881885,3232588,748,075231,17537,841,856
29Poland183,2483,614 94,01485,6206724,843964,008,471105,94937,833,953
30Romania182,8545,931 132,08244,8417579,5253092,860,226148,98419,198,218
31Czechia181,9621,513 74,908105,54158716,9821411,814,002169,29510,715,024
32Morocco175,7492,976 146,42126,3525394,745803,061,21982,64237,041,790
33Ecuador153,42312,395 134,1876,8413668,657699495,85227,97817,723,023
34Bolivia139,890+1198,502 +21104,95726,4317111,935725322,12827,48411,720,658
35Nepal136,036757 94,50140,7784,644261,300,91844,41129,292,579
36Qatar129,671224 126,6502,7974946,18280886,186315,6152,807,805 
37Panama125,1812,574 101,54521,06211528,877594585,821135,1374,335,025
38Dominican Republic121,6672,203 98,88020,58415211,182202545,49250,13410,880,626
39Kuwait116,832710 108,6067,51613327,237166834,167194,4704,289,434
40UAE116,517466 108,8117,24011,7384711,770,4551,185,7939,926,234
41Oman110,5941,114 96,40013,08020121,496217376,70073,2205,144,789
42Kazakhstan109,5081,768 105,0012,7392215,811943,175,675168,52418,844,066
43Egypt105,5476,130 98,3141,103411,02660135,0001,312102,907,357
44Sweden103,2005,918 N/AN/A3010,1995851,925,218190,27110,118,306
45Portugal101,8602,198 59,96639,6961659,9982163,035,073297,91810,187,608
46Guatemala101,5993,541 91,0327,02655,640197390,14721,65818,014,000
47Costa Rica97,0751,204 59,58036,29121419,004236271,39453,1305,108,126
48Japan93,1271,674 85,9415,512144737132,441,15019,319126,357,922
49Ethiopia89,8601,365 43,14945,346269776121,403,89412,123115,801,231
50Honduras88,4252,568 34,96450,893238,886258209,17021,0199,951,578
51Belarus88,290933 80,1307,2279,344992,235,892236,6439,448,375
52Venezuela86,636736 79,6946,2061863,049262,013,07470,85528,411,280
53China85,704+194,634 80,8122584603160,000,000111,1631,439,323,776 
54Switzerland83,1592,138 53,40027,621649,5872461,632,288188,1888,673,730
55Bahrain78,224302 74,6833,2393545,5141761,628,076947,2741,718,696
56Moldova67,3021,600 48,49317,20985116,696397331,18482,1574,031,095
57Austria65,927904 50,35914,6641457,3071001,938,028214,8139,021,947
58Armenia65,4601,091 48,20816,16122,078368349,871118,0032,964,928
59Uzbekistan63,523531 60,6042,3882521,890161,377,91540,99233,614,139
60Lebanon62,944526 28,85533,5632119,235771,071,955157,2696,816,070
61Nigeria61,5581,125 56,6973,73672965590,6352,844207,642,429
62Singapore57,91528 57,819689,87653,290,291561,0795,864,222
63Paraguay55,4521,207 36,66317,5821437,746169330,85446,2167,158,802
64Algeria54,6161,865 38,21514,536331,2394244,086,386
65Kyrgyzstan52,5261,111 45,8635,552248,012169276,52242,1776,556,262
66Ireland50,9931,852 23,36425,7773210,2933741,453,608293,4014,954,347
67Libya49,949732 27,26221,9557,240106274,71139,8186,899,248
68Hungary47,7681,173 14,31232,2831884,949122904,03693,6559,652,846
69Palestine47,616413 40,8616,3429,27080481,74793,7915,136,380
70Ghana47,372310 46,66439891,51510510,07416,31531,264,889
71Azerbaijan45,295630 40,1444,5214,455621,232,636121,24210,166,702
72Kenya45,076839 32,08412,15383316623,82811,52754,121,190
73Tunisia42,727687 5,03237,0081733,60458303,20225,57411,855,788
74Afghanistan40,2871,497 33,7605,030931,02838117,6743,00339,187,137
75Jordan38,937380 7,00631,551553,805371,593,077155,67110,233,601
76Myanmar37,205914 17,56818,72368217529,2139,70754,520,016
77Serbia36,282778 31,5363,968244,158891,241,864142,3088,726,582
78Denmark35,844686 29,5625,596176,1821184,633,026799,0195,798,392
79Bosnia and Herzegovina34,661997 25,4428,22210,585304277,66884,7963,274,546
80El Salvador31,666926 27,0003,740484,875143443,92368,3376,496,117
81Slovakia30,69592 7,53623,067725,62117622,032113,9165,460,448
82Bulgaria30,5271,008 17,15312,366884,404145613,39688,4836,932,339
83Australia27,405+6905 25,1121,38811,071358,326,791325,40925,588,664
84Croatia25,973374 20,5295,070356,33991400,63697,7764,097,485
85Greece25,802520 9,98915,293852,479501,549,392148,87410,407,430
86S. Korea25,333+58447 +323,4661,4207149492,491,31148,58051,282,624
87North Macedonia23,788846 17,3925,5502511,418406221,782106,4552,083,348
88Cameroon21,506424 20,1179656180416149,0005,57226,740,197
89Malaysia21,363190 13,7177,4569965861,903,51558,58732,490,213
90Ivory Coast20,324121 20,0291747655180,1016,77826,570,416
91Georgia18,663143 8,33810,1824,68136784,676196,8173,986,826
92Albania17,350454 10,1676,729206,031158104,38336,2842,876,837
93Madagascar16,810238 16,21535716603985,4073,06127,900,109
94Norway16,603278 11,8634,46263,055511,495,288275,1715,434,030
95Zambia15,897346 15,03152085819212,69911,47618,534,628
96Montenegro15,760240 11,2884,2322625,09238280,996128,956628,090
97Senegal15,432319 13,8651,248591519197,26011,69116,873,395
98Sudan13,724836 6,7646,1243111944,151,084
99Slovenia13,679190 6,3857,104556,58091289,443139,2212,079,025
100Finland13,555351 9,1004,10472,445631,301,424234,7735,543,339
101Namibia12,326131 10,4261,76944,82551117,05245,8202,554,580
102Guinea11,51870 10,4271,02124870539,6022,99213,237,189
103Maldives11,23237 10,2019941220,67168150,743277,420543,375
104Mozambique11,08075 8,8362,1693522167,8165,32631,511,695
105DRC11,052303 10,357392122390,355,185
106Luxembourg11,010135 8,4712,404417,504215945,9191,503,815629,013
107Uganda10,69197 6,9923,6022322523,39911,33846,161,328
108Tajikistan10,53380 9,5638901,09789,600,886
109French Guiana10,26869 9,995204534,11822971,790238,541300,955
110Haiti8,976231 7,3031,4427842030,9382,70311,444,203
111Gabon8,88454 8,45237833,96424213,23895,1442,241,211
112Jamaica8,321173 3,9514,197122,8065888,89329,9802,965,085
113Zimbabwe8,159232 7,68324454716162,95810,91714,927,567
114Angola7,829248 3,0314,55029236785,2132,56933,163,979
115Cabo Verde7,80087 6,6201,0932313,98315687,480156,830557,801
116Lithuania7,726113 3,1104,503202,85042893,014329,4652,710,500
117Mauritania7,621163 7,35510331,6263584,40718,0144,685,523
118Guadeloupe7,12296 2,1994,8273517,79924062,313155,726400,145
119Cuba6,258127 5,780351355311749,92466,22111,324,506
120Malawi5,860181 4,7579224304958,0023,00919,275,113
121Eswatini5,788116 5,427245194,97310045,57039,1571,163,775
122Bahamas5,773123 3,3392,31110714,63831231,00778,623394,375
123Sri Lanka5,62513 3,4402,1722620.6383,96117,90821,440,473
124Botswana5,60921 9154,67312,3719267,517113,0822,365,693
125Djibouti5,46961 5,379295,5116182,44983,089992,293
126Nicaragua5,353154 4,225974805236,648,194
127Trinidad and Tobago5,29897 3,6961,505143,7826931,57922,5431,400,864
128Hong Kong5,257105 4,98217012700143,587,019477,2947,515,323
129Congo5,15692 3,8871,177928175,558,049
130Syria5,134251 1,5653,3182911417,625,805
131Suriname5,133109 4,9596558,72618517,19129,226588,215
132Equatorial Guinea5,07083 4,9543313,5805963,58944,8961,416,369
133Rwanda4,99234 4,7971613833535,78241,06713,046,658
134Réunion4,92117 4,445459175,4851935,41939,475897,241
135CAR4,85662 1,9242,87021,0001332,7116,7384,854,750
136Malta4,73745 3,2421,450610,720102300,326679,624441,900
137French Polynesia4,54816 3,2021,3302016,1625726,35593,657281,399
138Aruba4,33434 4,040260440,54131836,680343,115106,903
139Mayotte4,15943 2,9641,152315,13715713,00047,315274,753
140Iceland4,10111 2,8561,234411,99432327,046956,521341,912
141Estonia4,08568 3,22978813,07951243,339183,4021,326,807
142Somalia3,89099 3,089702243616,023,007
143Guyana3,765111 2,749905124,78014117,13521,753787,702
144Thailand3,69159 3,4881441530.8977,85413,99969,853,207
145Gambia3,649118 2,6498821,4984818,2797,5022,436,534
146Andorra3,62362 2,2731,2882246,868802137,4571,778,15977,303
147Latvia3,49444 1,3412,10991,85923390,971207,9911,879,748
148Mali3,407132 2,588687167666,4173,25220,421,314
149South Sudan2,84755 1,2901,502253512,0441,07211,233,098
150Belize2,81344 1,6701,09957,03611019,19748,020399,773
151Cyprus2,68725 1,4441,21822,22121435,568359,9701,210,013
152Uruguay2,56051 2,121388573615283,90481,6433,477,384
153Benin2,49641 2,3301252043238,10519,49112,216,396
154Guinea-Bissau2,40341 1,81854451,213211,981,707
155Burkina Faso2,38765 1,802520113321,071,172
156Sierra Leone2,33173 1,76049829098,025,029
157Martinique2,25724 982,135196,0166442,504113,291375,176
158Togo2,07151 1,5414792486107,76112,9278,335,917
159Yemen2,056597 1,338121682030,020,018
160New Zealand1,887+125 1,8293337751,034,603206,8345,002,100 
161Lesotho1,83342 9618308542021,2919,9152,147,372
162Chad1,39093 1,19410384616,563,649
163Liberia1,38182 1,2712822711630,3325,9565,092,717
164Niger1,21169 1,12814950330,6631,25424,459,679
165Vietnam1,14035 1,04659120.41,246,48012,77197,602,366
166Sao Tome and Principe93315 898204,234685,68325,789220,368
167Channel Islands76748 6596024,399275132,517760,081174,346
168San Marino76642 68836222,5611,2378,604253,40933,953
169Sint Maarten75622 67559617,5725114,771110,89743,022
170Curaçao75145829214,571610,61464,603164,297
171Diamond Princess71213 659404
172Turks and Caicos6986893117,9551543,82998,49838,874
173Papua New Guinea58154133650.827,0033,0018,997,328
174Gibraltar577462115617,12857,5471,708,23433,688
175Burundi54949751460.0844,5263,71211,994,129
176Taiwan54049340230.399,0514,15723,829,888
177Saint Martin5313801431113,6642065,801149,27238,862
178Tanzania50921 183305780.360,231,763
179Comoros502485105748875,079
180Faeroe Islands485472139,914145,7002,978,39348,919
181Eritrea452388641273,561,101
182Mauritius41910 379303298260,973205,1011,272,410
183Isle of Man34824 32134,08628215,242178,96285,169
184Bhutan32730126422159,315205,791774,160
185Mongolia3243121219881,51624,7473,294,027
186Cambodia285+2280517165,9949,88816,788,168
187Monaco2682224426,8155151,9531,321,08539,326
188Cayman Islands2352122213,5631544,486674,50065,954
189Liechtenstein2241428165,870262,20057,65038,161
190Barbados222203127722430,602106,448287,482
191Bermuda18517242,97414574,3531,195,25162,207
192Caribbean Netherlands150121265,7041142,890109,90326,296
193Seychelles14914811,5125,20052,77598,531
194Brunei 1471431335763,246144,154438,740
195Antigua and Barbuda119101151,212313,20432,63698,173
196St. Barth7255177,2833,347338,5609,886
197British Virgin Islands717002,344335,193171,43130,292
198St. Vincent Grenadines676436035,99353,968111,047
199Macao46460714,2386,500651,983
200Saint Lucia362791969,13249,663183,881
201Dominica332944583,95554,90072,040
202Fiji3230036211,77113,102898,406
203Timor-Leste29281229,7207,3311,325,897
204Grenada272432406,25255,484112,681
205Vatican City27151233,666802
206New Caledonia272709415,13452,856286,324
207Laos23221360,5658,2897,307,105
208Saint Kitts and Nevis191903562,82853,04553,313
209Greenland161422829,627169,48956,800
210Saint Pierre Miquelon161242,7662,222384,0975,785
211Montserrat131202,60420048396,7354,993
212Falkland Islands131303,7042,682764,1033,510
213Western Sahara1081172601,660
214MS Zaandam97
215Anguilla3301991,32988,34715,043
216Solomon Islands33496139691,841
217Wallis and Futuna118911,178
Total:40,639,204+3,9041,122,953+19530,352,6969,163,55572,7715,213.6144.1

Highlighted in green= all cases have recovered from the infection

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