Coronavirus cases continued to soar across Latin America on Wednesday, with reported infections nearing 8 million and deaths surpassing 300,000, according to a tally by US-based Johns Hopkins University.
Meanwhile, countries in the region are striving to remain in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The governor Sao Paulo in Brazil said that phase 3 clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. have shown promising results and it may be available to Brazilians in December.
Due to a decline in the number of cases in the last few days, Brazil was replaced by India as the country with the second highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections, which have reached nearly 4.2 million in the South American country since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 127,464, according to ministry data.
After the final clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University were put on hold after a participant had a suspected adverse reaction, health authorities in Mexico, one of the countries called upon to participate in the manufacture of the vaccine, asked not to take things out of proportion.
“I want to make it clear: We should not anticipate ourselves and start speculating about the safety of vaccines and in particular of this one that is involved because we do not have the corresponding information,” said Mexican Undersecretary of Health Hugo Lopez-Gatell.
Mexico has launched a global effort to guarantee access to a COVID-19 vaccine. The country is working to produce its own vaccines. It has also struck a deal to produce a vaccine by pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and will take part in clinical trials of Italian and Russian vaccines to curb the spread of the virus, which has infected 642,860 and caused 68,484 deaths in the country.
Despite the Peruvian government imposing a strict nationwide quarantine since March, the country has registered more than 30,000 coronavirus-related deaths, the largest toll in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico.