LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN: COVID-19
14.1M CUMULATIVE COVID-19 CASES IN LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN AS OF 13 DECEMBER
314K CUMULATIVE COVID-19 CASES ACROSS THE CARIBBEAN AS OF 13 DECEMBER
COVID-19 response oversight will revert to the Ministry of Health effective 1 January 2021 following the departure of the head of the Presidential Commission for the COVID-19 Emergency (COPRECOVID) after nearly six months. COPRECOVID and the Ministry of Health are already coordinating the transition, with COPRECOVID set to become a consulting body within the Ministry.
COPRECOVID highlights improved epidemiological intelligence, testing expansion and decentralization, as well as tracing, as key accomplishments during their tenure at the head of Guatemala's response. The change response oversight comes amid localized outbreaks following Eta and Iota’s impact to Guatemala and the potential for further outbreaks during holiday season festivities, which COPRECOVID warns may lead to super-spreader events.
The Ministry of Education announced that schooling will resume on 1 February 2021 under area-specific modalities pending the results of a forthcoming education summit. The Ministry is advocating limited onsite learning in a staggered manner to reduce the number of students per classroom as a health security measure. Despite these plans, the Ministry is not ruling out virtual learning, indicating that many decisions will depend on the pandemic’s behaviour in coming months. The 2020 school year ended abruptly in August 2020 due to the pandemic, with the Government declaring that schools did not meet the necessary health security conditions to allow for a safe learning environment.
Total cases in the Caribbean have now surpassed 300,000. Many countries and territories have recorded slight but steady increases in cases, namely Aruba, Cayman Islands, Saint Martin and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Grenada and Saint Kitts and Nevis have also reported additional imported cases resulting in increases of 5 per cent or greater. Belize, Bermuda and Curaçao have seen significant active case spikes cases of 145 per cent, 326 per cent and 566 per cent, respectively, over the last month.
Conversely, many countries and territories that saw a surge in cases after reopening their tourismdependent economies, such as Jamaica and The Bahamas, are now seeing a steady decline in COVID-19 infections, while infections are rebounding in Cuba and the Dominican Republic after a recent drop in cases, indicating that the Caribbean will potentially have to cope with multiple waves of COVID-19 and its socioeconomic repercussions well into 2021.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.