Caribbean News, Latin America News:
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. July 20, 2020: There were 716 deaths from COVID-19 in one Latin American nation alone on Sunday as the death toll in the region continues to spike.
Brazil saw the highest deaths for the region Sunday as it continues to lead the region with cases and deaths. The total deaths now reached almost 80,000, at 79,488.
The country also registered 23,529 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and on Sunday, the health ministry said.
Brazil’s top indigenous chief Raoni Metuktire is among those affected by the virus. He has been hospitalized with digestive bleeding, according to a post on the Facebook page of Raoni’s institute.
The 90-year-old Amazon icon is in a hospital in the city of Sinop, in Brazil’s central state of Mato Grosso.
Raoni started showing symptoms of dehydration eight days ago and was initially taken from his tribe to a hospital nearby, the post said. The Kayapo chief has become the symbol of the fight to stop deforestation in the Amazon.
Last year, Raoni called on Brazil’s Congress to block President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies, which he said are destroying the Amazon forest indigenous people depend on.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday that lockdown measures used to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus “kill” and have “suffocated” the country’s economy.
The president’s statement comes as Brazil’s economy is expected to contract 6.4% this year, hit by the pandemic.
Bolsonaro, who announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on July 7, met his supporters in the grounds of his official residence, the Alvorada Palace, in Brasilia. The president was wearing a mask and kept some meters (yards) of distance from his supporters.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Reuters contributed to this story.