Covid-19 in Latin America: one year on

Special Report April 2021

An epicentre of the global pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a catastrophe for the world, not least for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). One year after the first cases, the Americas – north and south together - have between them been especially hard hit by the coronavirus, with LAC deeply disrupted in humanitarian, social, political, and economic terms. As of 12 March this year, the global pandemic had claimed 2.63m lives, but although the outbreak started in China, its toll, in terms of total deaths, has been much higher in the Atlantic region than in the Pacific. As of 12 March, Europe accounted for the largest share of cumulative deaths, totalling 32.3%, followed by North America (defined to include Mexico) at 29.4% and South America with 18.7%. However, at the peak Latin America (South America plus Mexico and the Caribbean) accounted for nearly 40% of total deaths. By individual countries, the top three highest death tolls in the world have been registered in the United States, followed by Brazil and Mexico.

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