Latin America, Caribbean infections briefly surge ahead of N. America

Workers eat their lunch separated by plastic panels to curb the spread of Covid-19 at a factory in Guatemala earlier this month. (AP pic)

WASHINGTON: Coronavirus cases in Latin America and the Caribbean surged on Sunday, briefly overtaking the total in North America, an AFP tally showed.

As the worldwide case count passed 16 million, Latin America and the Caribbean recorded the highest number of infections, taking its total caseload to more than 4.34 million, according to an AFP tally at 5am, based on official sources.

It was the first time the total number of infections in the region had surpassed that of North America, where the US remains the hardest-hit country in terms of both caseload and death toll.

But North America soon moved ahead again, as the US recorded 55,187 new cases in 24 hours, a tracker by Johns Hopkins University showed at 8.30pm.

That brought the total number of infections in the US alone to almost 4.23 million. Combined with Canada’s total of 115,787 cases, North America now has more than 4.34 million infections.

The US also added 518 deaths on Sunday, bringing its death toll to 146,909.

In Latin America, Brazil is the worst-hit country with almost 2.42 million cases and 87,004 deaths as of Sunday.

There have also been increases in infections in Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Argentina, all of which are trying to resume economic activities.

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