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Covid in Latin America

How the outbreak hit the region

The first known case of Covid-19 infection in Latin America was detected in Sao Paulo in Brazil on 26 February last year. A year later around 21m Latin Americans had tested positive for the virus and some 700,000 had died from it. The virus spread throughout the region at bewildering speed. There were ebbs and flows, some of them superimposed on two major waves (the initial one peaking in the second quarter of the year, with the second rising in late 2020 and in some countries gaining pace into Q1 2021. Despite a range of lockdown and quarantine measures, intermittent travel bans, and ‘circuit breakers’ designed to slow down the rate of transmission, the virus, carried by international travellers and transmitted within communities, took hold in the region’s major cities and from there began to spread out into the countryside.  

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