KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — The largest number of cases reported in a single day throughout the world has prompted the World Health Organistion (WHO) to warn that Covid-19 was now spreading to lower income countries just as those of higher income and developed economies were finishing their lockdowns.
During a briefing on Wednesday, the WHO indicated that there were now 5 million confirmed cases of the disease and 327,000 related deaths globally. More than 1.3 million have recovered.
Brazil has become the country with the third largest number of confirmed cases with more than 270,000 and 18,000 deaths. For the first time, it has just reported more than a 1,000 related deaths in a single day.
In Peru, more than 80% of Covid-19 cases are said to be asymptomatic, despite having more than 100,000 reported infectionss. It has the second largest number of infected in Latin America, after Brazil. 79 per cent of stall operators in Lima’s wholesale fruit market tested posted positive. In other locations involving fresh food markets in the city, at least half of sellers were found to be infected.
Mexico is experiencing an outbreak among its healthcare workers, with more than 20 per cent of those infected working in the health sector. Already, there have been 139 fatalities from that group.
The coronavirus is spreading fast throughout countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It threatens economies and infrastructures which support health systems already struggling dealing with the consequences of large populations of poverty and malnutrition.