Latin America logs 70,000 coronavirus deaths

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More than 70,000 people have died from coronavirus in Latin America as the pandemic sweeps through the region, putting growing pressure on an already stretched healthcare system.

As the number of cases in the United States soared past two million, Central and South America has emerged as the new hotspot for a disease that has infected 7.4 million people around the globe. More than 415,000 of them have died.

In Brazil, which accounts for well over half of the deaths in the region, hospitals were struggling to cope with the influx of sick and dying.

“Nursing was always an overworked profession, and this pandemic has just made things worse,” nurse Hans Bossan told AFP

“Nurses deal directly with patients, with the virus, we’re on the front lines of the war,” said Bossan, who is working 72 hours a week in three different jobs.

Nurses have been hit particularly hard as Brazil has rocketed up the global charts to claim an unwanted third spot in the number of deaths, behind the United States and Britain.

Around 18,000 nurses there have been infected with COVID-19, and at least 181 have died — among the highest numbers in the world, according to the International Council of Nurses.