May 25. After a brief period of decrease in new COVID-19 cases since the devastating wave of the Omicron variant, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil are again recording new outbreaks of the pandemic. Chile has recorded 18,060 and 26,780 new cases in the past two weeks, respectively, a 48 percent increase in one week. Although the number of ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients in Chile has not yet increased, the other waves of the pandemic have shown that hospitalizations and deaths follow case outbreaks with a delay of a few weeks.
In Argentina, cases increased by 92 percent in one week, and in the capital, Buenos Aires, by 128 percent. Four weeks ago, the country recorded 8,387 new cases, but that number rose to 33,989 last week, an increase of 305.2 percent. Between the first week of the month and last week, the number of patients hospitalized in moderate to severe condition in Buenos Aires increased 64.5 percent, from 237 to 390.
In Brazil, the moving average of cases is registering an increase, driven by outbreaks in the southern region of the country. On May 19, it reached an average of 19,128 daily new cases, a 46.7 percent increase over the previous month. Given the large under-reporting of the infections in the country, it is difficult to know the real trajectory of the pandemic. However, data from hospitalizations, pharmacy tests, and school reports indicate that the virus is spreading much faster than the official figures show.
The number of hospitalizations in the state of São Paulo is growing, from 1,253 in the first week of this month to 1,666 last week, an increase of 33 percent. At the same time, the total number of patients in ICU beds has increased 11.2 percent since May 1, from 3,179 to 3,536 on May 20.
Source: World Socialist Web Site