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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. July 18, 2020: The Latin American region on Thursday surpassed the 3.4 million mark as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the region continues to increase, News Americas has found.

Last night, the death toll across the region spiked past 152,000

Brazil continues to lead the region with COVID-19 cases, as it past the 2 million mark yesterday. Twenty-seven days have already passed since Brazil, which has the world’s second-largest outbreak after the United States, reached a million cases.

It has accelerated since then, hitting a plateau of nearly 40,000 confirmed new cases per day in recent weeks, according to government figures. The country’s death total passed 76,000 as another 1,299 new deaths were reported Thursday.

Despite the rapid spread of the virus, President Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right former army captain, has pressured local governments to lift lockdown restrictions.

“The government didn’t budge despite the health crisis. They thought more about money than about people,” said Rafael Reis of Rio de Janeiro, who lost his 71-year-old mother to the illness. “They mocked the disease. They didn’t believe in it … They wanted everyone back in the streets.”

But Mexico now has taken over as the country with the most deaths daily in the region, reporting another 579 deaths Thursday as its total case load reached 317,635 and the death tally reached 36,906. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Peru still has the third highest number of reported cases in the region and fifth in the world, with 337,724 but it has slowed in days as Chile spiked up by some 2,500 new cases yesterday to reach 323,698, the fourth highest in the region and 7th globally. Authorities also reported 109 new deaths as its death total reached 7,290.

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