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Latin America Covid-19 death toll will reach almost 390,000 by October, experts say

By Anthony Esposito

The death toll from the coronavirus in Latin America is expected to skyrocket to 388,300 by October, with Brazil and Mexico seen accounting for two-thirds of fatalities as other nations in the region contain their outbreaks, researchers said on Wednesday.

A funeral service is held at recently-dug cemetery in Brazil.

The region has emerged as a new global hotspot for the fast-spreading pandemic as deaths surpassed 100,000 this week and cases have tripled from 690,000 one month ago to 2 million.

High poverty levels and large informal sectors – which mean many workers cannot afford to quarantine – have combined with overcrowding in cities and inadequate public healthcare, particularly in isolated rural communities, to hamstring Latin America’s fight to stem the contagion.

Brazil is expected to exceed 166,000 deaths and Mexico 88,000, according to the forecast from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru are each forecast to see over 10,000 fatalities, while 15 nations including Paraguay, Uruguay and Belize are seen with fewer than 1,000 deaths each.

“Several Latin American countries are facing explosive trajectories, while others are containing infections effectively,” said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray.

IHME researchers warned that the loss of life could surge even higher than the already-grim forecast if mandates on mask wearing and social distancing are relaxed.

In a worst-case scenario, the COVID-19 death toll could climb to 340,476 people in Brazil and 151,433 people in Mexico, the report said.

The leaders of Brazil and Mexico have been chastised for not taking the virus seriously enough and pushing for a reopening of their economies before the virus has been tamed.

“Brazil is at a grim tipping point. … Unless and until the government takes sustained and enforced measures to slow transmission, the nation will continue its tragic upward trajectory of infections and deaths,” Murray said.

As Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has continued to downplay the seriousness of the health crisis, Latin America’s largest nation has tallied nearly 1.2 million cases and 53,830 deaths.

Transmission could be cut in half in communities where people are wearing masks when leaving their homes, according to the IHME.

“Increased testing and use of masks are important tools in reducing the toll of this pandemic in Mexico, in addition to keeping healthy distance,” said Dr. Rafael Lozano, director of Health Systems at IHME.

If mask use rises to 95%, Brazil could see as few as 147,431 deaths and Mexico’s forecasted death toll could fall to 79,652, the researchers said.

Credit: Reuters 

25 thoughts on “Latin America Covid-19 death toll will reach almost 390,000 by October, experts say

  1. All country’s that have a high numbers of COVID-19 cases have extremely poor leadership.

    1. I guess Ecuador is screwed then. I said it before and I will say it again, IT MAKES NO SENSE TO OPEN UP THE CITY WHILE THE VIRUS IS STILL SPREADING. DUH!
      Now, all the positive direction we had going for us is now wasted. It would not surprise me to have to return to square 1 again but this time with a hell of a lot more infections.
      Change the rules on when vehicles can be used. Makes no rational sense the way it is or was during RED.
      Hang those that stole and profiteered from the epidemic.

      1. Return to strict quarantine and people WILL riot. Too many business have already gone bankrupt and the vast majority of people in Ecuador depend on day to day informal jobs that requires them go outside their homes, NOT cushy white collar jobs that can be done remotely from a computer (and a large portion of Ecuadorians don’t even own computers, let alone high speed internet). I’m still amazed at all the expats here unable to comprehend that this is NOT a first world country and people do not have the funds that would allow them survive even a week without being able to go out and earn a living to afford food, medicines, etc.

      2. I don’t think returning to full lockdown is an option anymore, like Anden says too many businesses and livelihoods are at stake. The lockdown was implemented to buy the required time to find safe ways to do that business, we have the ways and means to do it now, it’s a matter of getting everyone to fully cooperate and work safely.. I don’t think the idea was to ride this out in a cocoon nor do I believe it’s the best way.

      3. Are you at all concerned about the collateral damage to health posed by the lock downs, quarantines, etc, whose mortality may exceed the C Virus mortality?

        1. No, not really. I exercise and eat well. I take sun every other day. How about you?

      1. You need her to back it up, what you can’t see it. All the countries that have high rates of Covid have authoritarian, or wanna be authoritarian leaders. They ignored the coronavirus and still don’t care what happens to the population. Look at how wellthe EU is doing. They are on the downhill side of this.

  2. This formatted area where readers are allowed to express themselves, is not really informative or helpful. I wish to express that more attention in Ecuador is paid to monitoring health rather than continuing to allow so much sugar and coke etc to be sold in the stores during this time of mass virtual illness and contagion.

    1. Thank you for that very helpful and informative opinion.
      And this isn’t a test, nor is it virtual in any way shape or form, it is very real and it’s affecting all our lives, if in doubt just go to any ICU and ask the doctors and nurses there.

      1. Hospitals in the USA are going bankrupt from lack of patients. Do you still believe that the statistics are real? What does the increase of cases mean? Is it that persons testing positive have acquired immunity which will be protective or the results are from the notoriously false positive tests? How many positive persons are going to die? No one really knows. A Swiss research study shows a mortality rate of .03 % not unlike the seasonal flu. Is this worse than the Swine flu? Check out its statistics.

        1. Yes, I would need to be on deaths doorstep before I go to a hospital for almost anything…. that’s where this pandemic lives… the mortality rate is more like 4.5% and is more in line with the Spanish flu… we do have a better grasp on the best way to deal with a pandemic of this proportion but we need to actually work as a team to take advantage of that advantage and misinformation like what you are spreading is exactly what the virus needs to accelerate through the US south like it is.. what does it take for Fox News watchers to see this is not what they are preaching? Has it just disappeared? Are the numbers going down? Is it the testing that’s bringing the numbers up? At what point do you stop believing the conspiracy theories and start looking at the science? After all they have consistently been forecasting what was about to happen… and the conspiracies are being debunked one after the other…

        2. Yes, I believe in the science and the numbers are accurate… what is it you believe in,,, trumps alternate reality?
          How many conspiracies have to be disproven before you look at the science?
          The highest number of deaths due to flu in my lifetime was 65,000 per year and 45,000,000 confirmed cases. This pandemic in 5 months has 2,500,000 confirmed cases and 128,000 deaths so far, remember it’s an ongoing pandemic… with another 2.5 years to go without a vaccine..there isn’t any comparison it’s far more deadly than the flu… could you imagine if what the death totals will be when the confirmed cases reach 45,000,000… this isn’t inconceivable, nor is it improbable, all it requires is doubt that it can happen.. keep watching fox, keep listening to the propaganda, you can be a part of the solution or a part of the problem, your choice…

          1. For your edification, I do not watch any MSMs and have not done so since 1980. As for your take on science, please try to debunk the following:
            “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative
            medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” -Marcia Angell, MD (“Drug Companies and
            Doctors: A story of Corruption.” NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2009.)

            1. The numbers of dead, confirmed cases and recovered are very reliable and verifiable. There are several sources to cross reference. You can easily discern any false reports by referencing and weed out the fake news when the report doesn’t match the numbers. Or you can just deny any of this is happening and say it’s all just a big conspiracy, if that fits your bill better. Which are you? Looks like you found yourself a great book from 2009 to read and help you sleep at night. I look at the raw data, then I do the math, Then when I read an article, it either confirms the data I already know or it doesn’t. Just curious how does she know, in the book she wrote, that some of the research can’t be trusted? I know how, I just described the technique for debunking and discerning research articles… anyone can do it, go to worldsmeters or John’s Hopkins website and do your own math. Once you know the facts it’s easy to see through the conspiracies, The sites don’t offer any conclusions just the raw data, do you have a book that decries data too? So you don’t watch MSM, where do you get your information? From reading your posts you are doubting the reality of this pandemic, you must be picking that up from somewhere. BTW, if you do the math yourself you’ll find the death rate at 2.5% to 6.3% depending on the asymptomatic cases, more testing will yield a better number of asymptomatic cases, the reports indicate 50 – 80% But I can’t verify or get a consistent number for this…

  3. so the total population of Latin America is 654 million. If death toll was to be 1% (one percent) it would mean 6.54 million… They predict 390 thousand!!!! That means how much??…… 0.06%. “by October!!! ” …. “could reach…” Somebody again considers us all stupid.

    1. The percentage is referring to positive cases not population. And we dont have a solid number of asymptomatic cases to add to the equation…. we are just beginning this journey… the Spanish flu went on for three years. We are only 5 months into this… without a vaccine we have a long way to go. Do your homework before you try to discredit the facts, look into the Spanish flu, it’s a coronavirus just like this… We are better prepared but we need cooperation rather than doubt to take advantage of this knowledge… be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem..

      1. Are all of the deaths during this pandemic due to the virus? Do you deny that in many hospitals in the US the death statistics will show CV as the cause despite that the some of the people that died were not tested for CV. Many of the deaths were indeed diagnosed CV for better reimbursement. Is it possible that the uptick in the positive cases could be from antibodies due to other corona virus infections that are present from former CV infections in the past such as the SARS flu and even the common cold?

        1. If someone has a fever, can’t taste or smell, has respiratory distress, do you need a test to determine they have Covid… If someone goes to the hospital complaining of chest pain, and left arm pain, no test required that’s a heart attack… I’m confident in a doctors ability to differentiate the two… and put the death in the correct column.
          If you doubt the numbers of dead from this, look into the number of deaths from last year and see how many are dead this year. I’ve done this and the extra deaths match what the deaths from covid they are announcing.
          Is this the new conspiracy, the numbers of deaths aren’t correct, they are throwing all the bodies into the covid pile… you don’t have to worry about getting sick,,, it’s all a big conspiracy…
          If given the choice between an Alex Jones conspiracy or John’s Hopkins data, it’s a tough call, I’ll go with John’s Hopkins….BTW, the Brazilian, Canadian, German, deaths, are they faking them too, they don’t get any extra money for covid cases…. I believe if there was any validity to this line of fraud, trump would be screaming it from high on the mountaintop and testing would become mandatory to prove the death was from covid, so he could say the numbers are inflated…
          And you better pray it’s not SARS return it has a much higher death rate than COVID-19, but it is much harder to catch… that one did just disappear and it was very prevalent in the town I was living in at the time… Toronto…
          yes yes hundreds of thousands of people are now dying from the common cold, I haven’t checked but how many people died from the common cold last year… I’m sure that’s the explanation,,,, it’s the common cold..

          1. Even with your example of symptoms at the beginning of your post does not necessarily mean Covid19, the common flu can have the same symptoms. Your simplistic diagnosis of chest pain and left arm pain meaning a myocardial infarction without testing is fallacious. Some critical thinking is required.

            1. We have seen “the flu” for so long… you are either sticking your head in the sand or not on this planet. It’s obvious to everyone. You can only hear the latest conspiracy for so long before it becomes obsolete, then the conspirators need a new one, then another……when do you see the reality? When does the science become truth and the propaganda become lies? When everyone else is wrong and your the only one that’s right, it’s time to start looking at your sources and question. I’m sorry but it’s time… and I too wish you were right, but this really is a pandemic and they really are dead from it.

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