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Peru Enters Another Nationwide Lockdown As Second-Wave Cripples The South American Country

The world has been fixated on the coronavirus as it has spread from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China to every continent, including Antarctica. More than 2,188,000 people have died of the disease that has infected more than 101,378,000 people across all continents. So far, more than 55,988,000 people have recovered from the illness. We are going to keep you updated on its spread.

Update January 28, 2021

Parts of Peru have gone into another lockdown as the country braces for a deadly second wave.

Much of Latin America is entering their second wave and are bracing for a higher death toll this time. In Peru, doctors are staging a hunger strike to protest the government’s coronavirus response. A doctor’s union is protesting the fact that the Peruvian government is not prepared for a second wave, including not giving doctors enough personal protective equipment (PPE).

Peruvians have been dying from Covid due to a lack of ventilators and this second wave could fare worse for the country. Perus has deployed national guardsmen to the border with Ecuador to slow the spread of Covid. President Francisco Sagasti ordered a total lockdown of the capital as well as nine other regions where new Covid cases are so high that hospitals are nearing collapse.

Update January 14, 2021

The Human Rights Watch is an international, non-government organization that tracks human rights across the world. As Covid spread across the globe, the HRW kept watch on which governments cared for their citizens. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, unsurprisingly, has been called out for his response to the pandemic.

The Human Rights Watch is highlighting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s failed Covid response.

As of Jan. 14, more than 8,256,000 Brazilians have tested positive for Covid and more than 205,000 have died. A persistent narrative throughout Brazil’s battle against Covid was President Jair Bolsonaro’s endless attacks against lifesaving Covid guidelines. He was even seen at a large anti-lockdown protest encouraging protesters to ignore the Supreme Court and Congress passing measures to save lived.

The Human Rights Watch has also highlighted that the Bolsonaro administration has relentlessly attacked the rights of individuals. There are several reports showing that the Bolsonaro administration has attacked women’s rights, indigenous rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and even the Amazonian rainforest. These attacks, according to the HRW, has further exacerbated the Covid crisis in the South American country.

“President Bolsonaro has put the lives and health of Brazilians at great risk by trying to sabotage efforts to protect against the spread of Covid-19,” Anna Livia Arida, Brazil Associate Director at Human Rights Watch, said in a press release. “The Supreme Court and other institutions have helped to protect Brazilians and to block many, although not all, of Bolsonaro’s anti-rights policies. They need to remain vigilant.”

Update January 7, 2021

Covid-19 is still raging around the world as countries rollout their own vaccination plans. Brazil, the epicenter of the virus in Latin America, is still waiting to approve a vaccine for use while Mexico has already started work with the Astrazeneca vaccine.

Brazil’s death toll from Covid vaccine has topped 200,000.

Brazil had the Chinese-made vaccine Sinovac in late-trials and claimed “fantastic” success with the vaccine. However, the data was spotty and the Chinese company was muzzling scientists and controlling the release of the information. In a sudden change of course, Brazil turned to India and is scrambling to acquire doses of the vaccine.

In Mexico, the government approved the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine for citizens to work in tandem with the Pfizer vaccine. It is unclear how quickly the country will be able to inoculate its citizens as 44,000 injections have been given in December, which is reportedly 82 percent of the current stock of vaccines.

A recent allergic reaction to the Pfizer vaccine in Mexico has made international headlines. A doctor reportedly experienced a severe allergic reaction to the Pfizer vaccine and has been recovering in intensive care. According to reports, the doctor was hospitalized with brain inflammation, difficulty breathing, and convulsions after receiving the injection. Doctors are running tests to determine the cause of the sudden illness.

Update December 11, 2020

Brazil is facing a drastic surge in deaths from Covid-19 as we head into the holiday season.

The South American country reported 842 deaths on Dec. 8, marking the most deadly day of Covid in the country since mid-November. Brazil is grappling with an out of control spread of the virus after reporting more than 6.7 million cases since the pandemic started.

“The greater social movement at the end of the year will end up spreading the virus even more and causing outbreaks and an increase in hospitalizations,” Diogo Xavier, a researcher at the Fiocruz biomedical center in Rio de Janeiro, told NBC News. “The concern is very great. The government needs to act. We still have the opportunity to take the appropriate measures and prevent this happening. Otherwise we will have a collapse of the health system.”

Update December 1, 2020

Covid has definitely made 2020 a year to remember. Nothing is as it was and there is a very Covid story coming out of Brazil. Covid has left one city without a mayor after someone won the runoff and has been elected.

Maguito Vilela is the mayor of Goiânia, but he doesn’t know.

Mayor-elect Vilela has been in a coma since Oct. 30 because of Covid. The 71-year-old politician made it through a runoff election while hospitalized and battling the virus that has killed more than 1 million people around the world.

Brazil has been devastated with a second wave for Covid without ever fully leaving behind the first wave.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has added fuel to the anti-lockdown and anti-mask protesters in the country. Bolsonaro has criticized the use of masks to slow the spread of Covid and has rejected the vaccine. Brazil, in return, is the hotspot in Latin America and is third to the U.S. in case numbers and second in deaths. President Bolsonaro has been criticized by the global scientific community for his reckless handling of the Covid crisis.

“Bolsonaro’s statements are a horrible sign,” Miguel Lago, executive director of Brazil’s Institute for Health Policy Studies, told The Associated Press. “If he were a less popular president, this might have little effect, but he is the hero of a lot of people. His hardcore supporters might not get a shot and that will generate more political dispute on the right not to get vaccinated. That will make it harder for Brazil to get above that minimum level of 70, 75 percent of the population vaccinated, which is key for life to go back to some kind of normal.”

Update October 22, 2020

Argentina is the fifth country to record 1,000,000 Covid-19 cases.

Argentina was one of the countries that took control of the viral outbreak within its borders. The government quickly halted international travel and implemented lockdown orders to get ahead of the virus. However, months later, the infection and death rates are climbing. More than 1,000,000 people in Argentina have been infected with the virus.

“Our countries are still getting out of the first wave,” Marcos Espinal, the director of the Pan American Health Organization’s Department of Communicable Diseases, told Al Jazeera. “A great part of the population remains exposed and community transmission continues.”

Update August 7, 2020 4:43 p.m. PST

Latin America officially has more Covid deaths than other parts of the world.

The death toll of Covid in Latin America is now over 206,000. That translates to 30 percent of all of the world’s infections coming from Latin America. The virus is still not under control in some parts of the world and more outbreaks are happening.

Brazil, which has the highest number of infections in Latin America, has more than 95,000 deaths. Mexico, the second-most infected country in Latin America has more than 48,000 deaths and climbing.

Update July 24, 2020, 4:03 p.m. PST: Latin America is seeing cases spike across the region.

Argentina and Brazil are experiencing record numbers of Covid infections and a high number of deaths. The virus has taken hold in Latin America and has not let go. This week, Brazil posted tens of thousands of cases daily as the death toll continued to climb. Argentina posted a record-breaking day on Wednesday with more than 5,000 cases.

As cases spike, and the U.S. continues to lose its standing in the world, China has offered Latin America a lifeline. According to Mexican officials, China has offered a $1 billion loan to help the region access its vaccine when done.

“China’s Foreign Minister said that the vaccine developed in his country will be a public benefit of universal access, and that his country will designate a loan of $1 billion to support access [to the vaccine] for the nations of the region,” reads a statement by the Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Update July 2, 2020, 12:51 a.m. PST: COVID-19 is tearing through Amazonian indigenous tribes.

The coronavirus is already devastated the rest of the world. Now, the vulnerable indigenous communities are facing a devastating spread of COVID-19. The virus is more than a threat to some of the tribe members. COVID-19 is killing off a generation of leaders within the indigenous communities. The Guardian reported that the virus is causing irreparable damage to indigenous history and culture.

As the virus threatens the indigenous communities, Brazilian military is offering help.

According to Reuters, the Brazilian military has been deployed to help remote indigenous communities on the Venezuelan/Brazilian border. The military member gave COVID tests, medicine, and other supplies the people needed. The military dropped boxes of supplies containing alcohol gel, gloves, face mask, and 13,500 pills of the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine.

Update June 23, 2020, 1:54 p.m. PST: Brazil is the second country to record 1 million infections from COVID-19.

Brazil’s number of COVID-19 cases has grown rapidly in recent weeks. Many have criticized Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for not taking the virus seriously and risking his citizens. The recent growth in cases is a troubling sign for South America as Brazil is quickly spiraling out of control.

“Brazilians should be studied, we don’t catch anything. You see people jumping in sewage, diving in it and nothing happens to them,” Bolsonaro said during a March press conference.

These narratives and other attempts by Bolsonaro to downplay the COVID-19 outbreak in Brazil have exacerbated the problem. Brazil is expected to surpass the U.S to become the worst-hit country on the planet from COVID-19. The South American country has also reported more than 50,000 deaths.

Brazil is experiencing a stunning spike in COVID-19 cases.

Brazil is in the middle of a major spike with cases quickly reaching 1 million. Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has been criticized by the international community for his flippant COVID-19 response. He was seen at anti-lockdown protests around the country calling on Brazilians to stand up against the lockdown orders being enacted.

Health officials are predicting that Brazil will surpass the U.S. in deaths this summer. According to the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, the projected death toll from Brazil will quickly outpace the U.S. The same model shows deaths from COVID-19 to start spiking again over the holidays.

Chile, which was once controlling the outbreak, has become a troubling reminder that the virus isn’t done.

Chile joins Peru, Brazil, and Argentina with significant spikes in COVID-19 infections. Chile stands out for a sudden spike in the death toll. At first, Chile seemed to have a handle on the outbreak. It was one of the first countries to implement widespread testing and lockdowns to slow the spread. Now, the virus is spread quicker than it is in the U.S. and killing at a higher rate. Many blame the Chilean government for ignoring the needs and for not understanding the reality of the poorer citizens of Chile.

“The government thought about the lock-down in terms of people like themselves, as if all Chile were upper-middle class, people that can stay home and work from there,” Claudio Fuentes, a political scientist at Universidad Diego Portales, told Bloomberg. “They failed to guarantee the isolation of infected people in poorer areas.”

Update June 12, 2020, 11:17 a.m. PST: Brazilians are protesting their government’s COVID-19 response.

Credit: Andre Coelho / Getty Images

Cases of COVID-19 are skyrocketing in the South American country. The Brazilian government was criticized at the beginning of the outbreak for its lack of a response. President Jair Bolsonaro hasn’t helped the cause. He has spent some of his time encouraging and joining anti-lockdown protesters aginst COVID-19 health regulations. Bolsonaro’s open disregard has led to a terrifyingly quick spike in cases within Brazil.

The protests come after the Brazilian Supreme Court ordered the government to public post COVID-19 infection data.

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The government removed a rolling chart showing the data for the virus from the website late last week as cases continued to climb. Instead, the website only showed the number of cases within 24 hours leaving people without necessary data about the virus.

Eduardo Pazuello, the third health minister since the outbreak started, said he would follow the court’s order immediately.

Update May 26, 2020, 12:31 p.m. PST: The Trump administration is imposing an entry ban on all people who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days.

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According to a proclamation from the White House, the U.S. government is imposing a travel ban from Brazil into the U.S. The Trump administration, which has been heavily criticized for their disastrous response to Covid-19, is limiting the travel of people into the U.S. from Brazil. Brazil is currently grappling with an increasing infection and death rate from Covid-19 following weeks of anti-lockdown protests encouraged and attended by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

“Today’s action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Sunday, according to CNN. “These new restrictions do not apply to the flow of commerce between the United States and Brazil.”

The Trump administration claims that the travel restrictions are being implemented to control the spread of Covid-19.

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The U.S. government has been criticized by the global community because of its slow response to the health crisis. At the beginning of the outbreak in the U.S., President Trump downplayed the virus and claimed that it would go away on its own. This rhetoric eventually evolved into President Trump asking scientists to look into the effectiveness of injecting disinfectant into patients to kill Covid-19. The lack of a national response to Covid-19 has led the U.S. to have the most infections and deaths than anywhere else in the world.

“The potential for undetected transmission of the virus by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States from the Federative Republic of Brazil threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security,” reads the proclamation. “I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. The free flow of commerce between the United States and the Federative Republic of Brazil remains an economic priority for the United States, and I remain committed to facilitating trade between our nations.

Update May 19, 2020, 11:46 a.m. PST: Brazil is grappling with a sudden spike in cases threatening to collapse hospitals.

Brazil was the epicenter of the anti-lockdown protests in Latin America. The protests mirrored the same science-denying protests in communities across the U.S. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro both participated in some of these protests and encouraged people to take to the street to fight against the lockdown orders.

Countries across the world implemented lockdown measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, a new virus that was killing people across age groups and races. The lockdown measures have worked as countries have seen their case and hospitalization numbers decline. Data shows that COVID-19 infection numbers have continued to climb in countries and communities where lockdown measures were ignored, or not implemented. Brazil is the largest cautionary tale in Latin America.

Major cities in Brazil are reporting a damaging surge that could cause hospitals to collapse.

The crisis in Brazil is showing. The country is quickly becoming the country with the second-highest number of cases of COVID-19 infections. Concerned health experts have blamed Pres. Bolsonaro’s actions at the beginning of the crisis and led to an avoidable increase of risk to public health.

Pres. Bolsonaro sided with anti-lockdown protesters calling on the government to end the social isolation. Pres. Bolsonaro made an enemy out of health experts who were trying to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the South American country. Two health ministers have resigned since the pandemic hit Brazil.

Update May 12, 2020, 11:26 a.m. PST: Fear of COVID-19 destroying indigenous communities has prompted strong reactions from indigenous communities.

Indigenous communities have feared the latest pandemic to bring the world to a standstill. The communities have asked federal governments to help protect them from a virus that the world had never seen before. There is no known immunity to the virus right now and indigenous communities are more likely to be decimated by COVID-19.

“No specific attention has been given to indigenous communities,” Gregorio Díaz Mirabal, chief coordinator of the Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin, told The New Humanitarian. “The pandemic has exposed that there are no doctors and no health infrastructure in these communities. There is no education, no phone connections, no computers, no internet.”

In response, some tribes are enforcing strict self-quarantine measures to protect their elders. Many of these communities keep their cultures and histories alive through oral storytelling. The loss of the elders, who are seen as the guardians of the cultures, would create a loss in the world’s collective history and experience.

The fear of the virus was realized last month when a teenager in an isolated Amazonian tribe contracted COVID-19. The 15-year-old boy died of the virus stoking fears and solidifying the need for COVID-19 assistance to protect these communities.

Avianca Airlines has had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because of the pandemic.

Airlines claim to be struggling following the outbreak of COVID-19. Travel has been restricted around the world to protect global health and give governments a chance to get a handle on the pandemic. For Avianca, the airline has had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy joining companies like J. Crew and Neiman Marcus. The airline is using bankruptcy to reorganize their company to survive the impacts of a health pandemic that is claiming lives every day.

Update April 21, 2020: 11:06 a.m. PST: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro celebrated anti-lockdown protesters, following President Trump’s lead.

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The coronavirus pandemic is still raging as some country start easing stay at home measures throughout Asia and Europe. Those continents were the first two to experience large numbers of cases and implemented lockdown measures before the U.S. As the virus continues to spread, global health experts are calling for some countries to continue their safer at home measures. However, far-right President Bolsonaro is fighting the science and supporting anti-lockdown protesters.

“The era of roguery is over. Now it’s the people who are in power,” Bolsonaro told the crowd. “Everyone in Brazil must understand that they must yield to the will of the Brazilian people.”

President Bolsonaro has been slammed for participating in a “pro-dictatorship” rally.

Protesters are calling for an end to the lockdown to return to the military dictatorship of Brazil. The protesters want the Brazilian Supreme Court and Congress to be suspended putting all of the power in Bolsonaro’s hands. Bolsonaro, who was coughing throughout his appearance at the protest, defending his willingness to fight against the Brazilian government.

“I respect the Supreme Court, I respect the Congress — but I am entitled to my opinions and some people can’t just interpret anything I say as an act of aggression,” Bolsonaro said at the protest. “Usually, when people are conspiring against someone it’s to reach a position of power. I’m already in power. I’m already the president.”

Update April 14, 2020: 11:31 a.m. PST: A 97-year-old woman is the oldest person in Brazil to survive COVID-19.

Gina Dal Colleto was admitted to the hospital on April 1 with symptoms associated with COVID-19. The great-grandmother was immediately placed on oxygen. After two weeks in the hospital, the woman was discharged and sent home with applause from the healthcare workers who helped her battle the virus.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is being criticized for pushing a dangerous narrative about a “cure” to COVID-19.

Bolsonaro is following President Trump’s lead and pushing an unfounded claim that hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, is a cure for COVID-19. There have already been some reported deaths to people self-medicating with hydroxychloroquine. Health experts across the globe are also warning people that the drug is not known to cure COVID-19. President Trump has refused to let Dr. Fauci, the scientist leading the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from answering any questions about President Trump’s claim that hydroxychloroquine is a COVID-19 cure.

Update: April 6, 2020, 9:22 a.m. PST: Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez announced that she was seeking a refund of a deposit for COVID-19 testing kits.

According to Miami Herald, the governor of Puerto Rico announced that she was seeking a full refund of the $19 million deposit on 1 million COVID-19 testing kits. El Nuevo Dia, the first outlet to report the news, cited the danger this could have on the island’s overall response to the virus. Five hundred seventy-three people have contracted COVID-19 in Puerto Rico and 23 people have died from the virus. Two companies, Apex General Contractors and 313 LLC, won bids to provide the tests to the federal government.

Also in Puerto Rico, unused medical equipment in good condition was recently discovered.

The news is a double-edged sword. The discovery of the much-needed medical supplies shows the mismanagement by the Puerto Rican government during its Hurricane Maria response. However, now that the equipment has been found in good condition, it is being sent to healthcare workers who really need it at this time to combat the virus.

Update March 31, 10:46 a.m. PST: Indigenous tribes in South America are blockading their villages to protect themselves from COVID-19.

Indigenous communities around the world are preparing to ride out the COVID-19 health pandemic the best way they can. Some indigenous leaders are asking for help to protect their communities from COVID-19. Many indigenous tribes are voluntarily isolated from the rest of the world leaving them particularly vulnerable to diseases. This is because their isolation has left them with no immunity or protection from most diseases.

“We call on governments to intensify surveillance and protection of indigenous territories, many of which are invaded by miners, drug traffickers, loggers, land-grabbers and tourists,” Claudette Labonte, a member of the Kamuyeneh community in French Guiana and a member of the Congress of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), told AFP.

Labonte continued to argue that government help is needed because of the illegal miners and others who are using the pandemic as a way to encroach on the protected indigenous lands. These moments could lead to the indigenous people being infected by sick loggers and miners.

Update March 24, 11:06 a.m. PST: Global economists and health experts warn that Mexico is not prepared for the outbreak.

Most of the world’s governments are grappling with how to better handle the COVID-19 outbreak. However, Mexico seems to be dragging their feet when it comes to responding to the health pandemic that has shut down one-third of the United States. In stark contrast to most major international cities, Mexico City remains open and bustling as the Mexican president calls for calm from citizens.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has led his country into a “business as usual” mentality. According to reports, President López Obrador doesn’t want to impose major lockdowns and restrictions until absolutely necessary. This kind of attitude, economist and health experts warn, would lead to an outbreak worse than what the world saw in Italy.

The country’s stock market has already started to strain under the pressure of COVID-19. Economists warn that the outlook for Mexico’s stock market is grim but the president, through action, could ease the full impact.

Update March 17 – 11:22 a.m. PST: The number of cases in Latin America continues to climb as El Salvador implemented nationwide quarantine.

“I know this will be criticized, but let’s put ourselves in Italy’s shoes. Italy wishes they could’ve done this before,” Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said in a national address. “Our health system is not at Italy’s level. It’s not at South Korea’s level.”

President Bukele’s national quarantine means that schools are closed for three weeks, gatherings of more than 500 people are banned, foreign travelers from high-risk countries are barred from entering the country, and all Salvadorans returning from trips abroad will be quarantined for 30 days.

Puerto Rico has implemented an island-wide curfew to combat the spread of the virus.

Puerto Rican Governor Wanda Vázquez reprimanded Puerto Ricans for not obeying guidance to self-isolate and practice social distancing. In response, Gov. Vázquez instituted a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and shut most businesses on the island until March 30. The only people exempt are supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, medical equipment stores, gas stations, restaurants offering take out and delivery, and their suppliers. Violators face a $5,000 fine or six months in jail for breaking the executive order.

Update March 13 – 1:24 p.m.: The novel coronavirus has been reported in Venezuela.

To cases have been confirmed in Venezuela. The South American country is in a yearslong battle over their government that has left them with no medicine, little food, and a devastated economy. Doctors in Venezuela fear that the coronavirus could pose a major threat to hospitals that might be overwhelmed with patients that cannot be treated.

The virus has also entered Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, Bolivia, and Paraguay.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro recently contradicted earlier reports that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

Update: President Trump has backpedaled on his plan to close the southern border in response to the coronavirus concern.

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President Trump originally announced that he was considering closing the southern border with Mexico because of concerns about the coronavirus. At the time, Mexico had 5 confirmed cases of the virus while the U.S. had more than 80. On March 3, Trump changed his messaging and said they aren’t invested in the decision due to a lack of evidence.

Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic have all reported cases of COVID-19.

Ecuador is currently grappling with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Latin America. Seven people have tested positive after a woman in her 70s tested positive for coronavirus in February after visiting Madrid. The woman is in critical condition. In Mexico, where there are 5 confirmed cases, first detected the virus in two men who had recently traveled to northern Italy. The Dominican Republic has reported one case who is an Italian national visiting the island. Brazil diagnosed a second case, who is a 32-year-old patient in São Paulo. A 32-year-old man was diagnosed as the first coronavirus patient in Argentina after a trip to northern Italy. Chile reported a patient who had recently spent time in Singapore.

The first case of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has been reported in Brazil.

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The first case in Latin America was confirmed in Brazil. The patient, a 61-year-old man who was in northern Italy for business, tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to São Paulo. The man checked himself into a hospital when he began to show signs of a fever, sore throat, and a cough.

Brazil’s Carnival celebrations have begun and the possibility of an outbreak is weighing heavily on some Brazilians.

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According to The New York Times, Brazil Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta is optimistic that they will be able to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, former Health Minister José Gomes Temporão notes that the Brazilian government has been hit with spending cuts in recent years.

“We are cutting resources to public health, and we will need additional resources now,” Temporão told The New York Times.

Brazil has reportedly been working in preparing for the coronavirus for weeks leading up to Carnival.

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Despite the work, many fear that Brazil’s under budget and overstressed public health system might not be able to handle an outbreak. However, health officials told The New York Times that it appears that the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in São Paulo acted quickly using best practices to admit and quarantine the sick man.

The coronavirus has shown up in 38 countries on six continents around the world, including the U.S.

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There are currently more than 50 cases of the coronavirus that have been reported in the U.S. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is warning Americans of the possibility of a more aggressive plan to limit the spread of the virus. The virus is spreading quickly across the world since it was first detected and reported in Wuhan, China at the end of December 2019.

President Donald Trump has come under fire from health officials for not understanding the true magnitude of the virus.

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The CDC issued a troubling warning of the virus the same day President Trump claimed that the coronavirus won’t have a large impact on the U.S. population. According to the CDC, they expect the virus to spread widely enough in the U.S. to cause a “disruption to everyday life.”

In a statement on the website, the CDC calls COVID-19 “a serious public health risk.” While it is not currently recognized as spreading in the U.S., the CDC does have a plan ready in case the virus begins to spread in U.S. communities.

“Community-level nonpharmaceutical intervention might include school dismissals and social distancing in other settings (e.g., postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings and telework and remote-meeting options in workplaces),” reads the CDC website. “These measures can be disruptive and might have societal and economic impact on individual persons and communities. However, studies have shown that early layered implementation of these interventions can reduce the community spread and impact of infectious pathogens such as pandemic influenza, even when specific pharmaceutical treatments and vaccines are not available. These measures might be critical to avert widespread COVID-19 transmission in U.S. communities.”

An earlier video from the CDC claims the risk of infection is low but for people to use tactics used to prevent the spread of the flu.

The CDC warns that people need to be vigilant about staying home from work, school, social gatherings, and other social activities if they are sick. The coronavirus symptoms are similar to the flu with a fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. The CDC is asking for people to remain vigilant as we are in the time of year where other illnesses with similar symptoms, like the flu and common cold, are spreading in the U.S.

If you would like to learn more about COVID-19 and what to do if you think you have contracted the virus, click here and read what the CDC recommends.

READ: Four Year Old Left Blind After She Caught A Severe Case Of The Flu—Her Parents Have A Message: Get Your Child Vaccinated

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