ASSESSMENTS

South America’s Response to the P1 COVID-19 Threat

MIN READApr 21, 2021 | 18:15 GMT

A man receives a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a drive-through distribution site in Bogota, Colombia, on April 11, 2021.

(DANIEL MUNOZ/AFP via Getty Images)

To contain the fast-spreading P1 variant of COVID-19, South American countries with politically secure governments like Chile and Uruguay will likely impose stricter lockdowns but experience faster economic rebounds, while countries with upcoming elections like Brazil and Argentina enforce softer restrictions but struggle to fully restart their economies amid ongoing outbreaks. In December 2020, the P1 variant was detected in the Brazilian city of Manaus and eventually spread across the country. The variant now accounts for half of new COVID-19 cases in Brazil. Brazil has subsequently experienced over 3,000 deaths a day for several weeks and is on track to see 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 in April. While the variant has primarily affected Brazil, it has been detected in 15 countries across Latin America, including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay. ...

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