Brazil, epicenter of the pandemic in Latin America
With more than a quarter of a million confirmed infections, Brazil is the third country in the world with the most cases of COVID-19 and the first in Latin America.
Brazil is carrying the most painful of leaderships: it is the Latin American country with the highest number of infections, deaths and - fortunately - patients recovered from COVID-19. And with almost 300,000 confirmed cases - 291,579 at the close of this edition - it still shows no signs of having reached the epidemiological peak of contagion, while in Russia and the United States signs of hope are beginning to emerge.
The reluctance of President Jair Bolsonaro to give the pandemic the seriousness it deserves, and the lack of leadership and coordination from the federal government - which has changed health ministers twice, it is not yet known who will succeed Nelson Teich - have allowed the pandemic to grow unchecked, despite the efforts of governors and even organized crime.
If the reports coming out of the country about the mass graves being dug or the bodies that remain for hours on the street were not already very telling of the degree of development that the pandemic has in Brazil, if we were to stick only to the numbers, everything we don't know about the level of contagion in the country would be obvious.
We know that Brazil has at least a quarter of a thousand people infected with the coronavirus, but the number of tests it has done is so small in relation to the size of its population that it is not even one per thousand people.
In terms of diagnosing the virus, Brazil is not only far behind Russia and the United States, but even behind other countries in the region such as Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Colombia, which have smaller economies.
This means that it is not known how big the pandemic is in Brazil and that the cost of government inaction both in human lives in the short term and in the difficulty it will have to recover from the economic crisis that will affect the whole region will be enormous. The latter will happen even in spite of Bolsonaro's insistence that people must continue to go out to work and move the economy, simply because being sick people cannot produce or consume at the pace at which the economy usually moves.
According to El País, the number of infections that have gone undiagnosed could be as high as 19 out of 20. As has happened in Peru or as may happen in Colombia, Manaus, the Amazon capital of Brazil, has so far seen the most deaths, up to four times more than expected in comparison to previous years. Fortunately, the death toll curve is already dropping in this city.