As of the end of September, nearly 34 million conrmed cases have been reported as well deaths reaching beyond 1 million globally since the outbreak began. In South America, the number of cases is at 7,903,912, compared to 6,040,476 thirty days ago, an increase by 31%. Brazil leads with 4,732,309 cases, followed by Colombia, Peru, and Argentina, with 813,056, 805,302, and 711,325 cases respectively. Last week, the sharpest increases in cases were in Paraguay (15%) and Argentina (13%). In terms of mortality, Brazil also leads with 141,741 deaths, followed by Peru,
Colombia, and Argentina, with 32,262, 25,488, and 15,749 deaths, respectively. In the whole region, the number of deaths is at 248,532, compared to 196,682 thirty days ago, an increase by 26%.
As new COVID-19 cases continue to be reported, measures and policies imposed by governments and authorities to limit its spread persist. There are some steps towards easing some of the restrictions in some countries: Focalized/selective lockdown, reduced curfew hours, and lifting bans for certain economic sectors.
Governments are working towards safe reopening of borders with an aim to reduce the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on populations. Some governments have begun to lift bans on domestic and international flights. Several countries are slowly starting to reopen airports and international travel, however, human mobility in South America continues to be affected considering that most of land, sea and river borders remain closed or with heavy restrictions. This situation poses various complex challenges for different population groups, including international migrants.
Coordinated efforts made by governments and different authorities to facilitate returns of their nationals stranded abroad are ongoing.
In response to the shifting COVID-19 context, some countries have eased COVID-19 mobility restrictions that also impact this region. For example, the European Union lifted the travel restrictions at the external borders for “safe countries”, where Uruguay remains as the only South American country included.
Governments, international organizations, and NGOs continue to provide assistance to different population groups, including migrants, affected by COVID-19 mitigation measures. Some measures put in place by national authorities such as direct or social assistances (i.e. cash transfers, free burial of the foreigners who died due to COVID 19) are helping migrants during the pandemic as well.