Governments all over the world are rushing to contain the dire consequences of the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak which has already claimed a dangerous death toll.

Yet, in Latin America, leaders of Brazil, Mexico, and Nicaragua have opted for a rather light-hearted attitude towards the deathly pandemic as they call it a "little flu” while encouraging families to go out and eat without fearing the very high possibility of contracting the virus. 

Mexico: Andres Manuél Lopez Obrador

In Mexico, President Andres Manuél Lopez Obrador who recently uploaded a video wherein he encouraged people to continue to go out to eat, to ensure that Mexica’s economy remains upright. "We do nothing good and we don't help if we're paralyzed if we act in an exaggerated way," he said in the video. "Let's continue living life normally."

On multiple occasions, Obrador has insisted that Mexico is prepared to handle the crisis even as the nation registers 405 cases, 2,161 others are suspected of having the virus, and five people have died. 

"I do not think Mexico is prepared for this," said one veteran physician at a leading hospital in Mexico City. "We aren't testing enough because there aren't enough tests, and we do not remotely have enough beds, enough ventilators, not even enough facemasks to treat this epidemic."

Brazil: Jair Bolsonaro

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had, in the initial stages of the coronavirus outbreak, called it “overrated.” And even, when his press secretary has tested positive for the virus and Brazil has recorded 2247 cases so far with 34 people dead, he is still calling it "a little flu."

"The people will soon see that they were tricked by these governors and by the large part of the media when it comes to coronavirus," he told Brazilian network Record TV.

Nicaragua: Daniel Ortega

Of the three Latin American countries, it is Nicaragua which is worst equipped if an outbreak of the virus were to happen inside its borders. But despite the growing apprehension and fear, President Daniel Ortega has not made any attempts to contain the virus and hasn't been seen in public in weeks.

In fact, masses have reported that “government is participating in political marches outside” as Nicaragua's vice president, Rosario Murillo, President Ortega’s wife, advised Nicaraguans to turn to religion as “this faith defends and saves us." 

Even the feeble preventive measures taken by the federal government, like sending workers (not wearing protective masks) door to door to instruct people to properly wash hands, are not working out for the masses. 

"Nicaragua has a vulnerable health system and an infection this massive could create disasters, our system will collapse," shared a doctor in the city of Jinotepe. "It is greatly irresponsible for the state to not take real measures against this pandemic."
Coronavirus COVID-19 New York, USA - Mask People line up outside Elmhurst Hospital to get tested due to coronavirus outbreak on March 24, 2020 in Queens, New York City. New York City has about a third of the nation’s confirmed coronavirus cases, making it the center of the outbreak in the United States. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images) Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images