9.1M CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN AS OF 27 SEPTEMBER
30.6K MORE DEATHS FROM ALL CAUSES IN ECUADOR FROM JANAUG 2020 VS. JAN-AUG 2019
80K TEST KITS PAHO/WHO WILL DELIVER TO JAMAICA TO SUPPORT SCALED-UP TESTING
LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN: COVID-19
Costa Rica has experienced a concerning exponential increase in cases in recent weeks; the rate of 25 cases per every 100,000 inhabitants between 13-20 September was the third highest in the world during the reporting period, trailing only Israel and Spain.
Should the upwards trend continue,
Social Security projections indicate that intensive care unit (ICU) bed capacity will soon be overrun, adding that they do not currently have the capacity to expand bed availability and will require more staffing, equipment, resources and personal protection equipment (PPE). With these current constraints, a continuing upwards trend in cases will likely lead to an increase in deaths and case-fatality rate, which is currently the second lowest in Latin America at 1.1 per cent.
According to the Civil Registry,
Ecuador has recorded 79,782 deaths from all causes from January to August 2020, an increase by more than 30,600 deaths from the 49,126 recorded during the same reporting period in 2019, itself a modest increase from the 47,818 recorded for 2018.
While the increase can partly be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic,
Ecuador’s 11,200 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and more than 3,700 deaths suspected to be linked to COVID-19 do not account for the full difference in total deaths. The discrepancy is prompting questions regarding how many COVID-19 deaths remain unaccounted for, even with the understanding that underreporting is common worldwide, and how much the pandemic has limited health services in responding to other illnesses and conditions. The figures raise even more questions considering the significant reduction in violent deaths and traffic accidents during Ecuador’s months-long confinement.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness announced they will roll out antigen testing by late October with PAHO/ WHO support to respond to increasing local demand for testing and bolster surveillance and monitoring amid community transmission on the island.
PAHO/WHO are procuring an initial 80,000 test kits for the Ministry, who say the antigen test will help broaden the base for testing and reduce the turnaround time for test results. The test, which will only be administered to symptomatic patients, will be piloted in major hospitals by the National Public Health Laboratory as a compliment to PCR tests.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.