South America no longer leads the world in Covid deaths and cases

covid deaths cases latin america
People respecting social distancing while waiting for their turn at a grocery shop in Lima, Peru. Photo: Myriam B/Shutterstock

The decline in South American coronavirus cases has reached new milestones every week, and the region is now no longer the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Bloomberg data, only 5.3 percent of global cases and 9.6 percent of deaths over the last week came from the region, the lowest level since the start of the pandemic — down from 38 and 44 percent respectively just a few months ago.

Overall, however, South America has recorded 1.15 million of the 4.75 million total Covid-19 deaths around the world, despite being home to just 6 percent of the global population.

Vaccination efforts across the region have improved greatly over the last few months, with six out of the 10 main South American countries having already administered at least one dose to 50 percent or more of their population — a figure which rises significantly if under 18-year olds are excluded.

A seasonal component is also a very likely factor in the drop, as more than three months have passed since the Southern Hemisphere’s winter solstice, while days are getting darker and colder in the North, where more than 80 percent of the world’s population resides.