The coronavirus death toll in Latin America reached 206,000 on Tuesday, making up 30 percent of the global total. Cases in the region also surpassed 5 million on the same day.

Latin America has been tagged as the region most affected by the novel coronavirus. On Tuesday, Brazil recorded a total of 95,819 deaths, making it the worst-hit country in the region. In the last five months, the virus has spread throughout the country and reached 98 percent of its total municipalities. Mexico comes in second with 48,869 deaths.

Aside from Brazil and Mexico, other Latin American countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are Columbia, Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia. The surge in new coronavirus cases in these countries started as authorities eased lockdown restrictions to stimulate economic growth beginning last month.

In recent weeks, the streets of Bolivia have been filled with abandoned corpses of COVID-19 patients because their families could not find places to bury or cremate them. Mobile crematory ovens are already being manufactured in the country to respond to the surge in COVID-19 deaths. The Health Ministry of Bolivia reported 81,846 cases and 3,200 coronavirus deaths in the country on Tuesday.

Meanwhile in Peru, Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra recently inked a decree exempting foreign doctors and nurses from having to validate their degrees before practicing their professions in the country. The decree has paved the way for health workers from Venezuela who have fled their country to join the health system in Peru amid the coronavirus emergency. As of Tuesday, Peru has already recorded 430,100 cases and 19,811 deaths from COVID-19.

With cases still rising in Latin America, the United Nations has warned of a “generational catastrophe” due to the impact of the pandemic on education. Earlier this month, Bolivia announced that it would cancel the rest of the school year in favor of distance learning, which will begin on Aug. 24 and will affect more than 30 million Mexican school children.

Other countries in the region, including Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina, are also debating whether to offer face-to-face education or remote learning. Expectedly, the reopening of schools is accompanied by much uncertainty as the pandemic shows no sign of improvement.

COVID-19 Coronavirus is spreading worldwide and countries are doing their best to flatten the curve. Photo by: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay