Officials in São Paulo confirmed Latin America’s first case of COVID-19 on February 26. By mid-May, a clearer picture emerged of how the pandemic is evolving in each country. While the number of cases continues to climb across the board, mortality and recovery rates vary greatly.
Cross-country comparisons are difficult, since myriad factors and public policies affect the numbers in different—or even similar—ways. A high recovery rate might be an indication of a robust public health system (Costa Rica), but it could also be reflective of low testing (Mexico). Some countries have high numbers and a low testing rate (Brazil), while others have high numbers because of concerted testing efforts (Ecuador). And most expect the Maduro administration—which last reported a virus-related death on April 20—is dramatically underreporting cases.
Here is a snapshot of where coronavirus testing, recovery, and mortality rates in countries in the region stand as of May 15.