July 3, 2020 / 1:55 PM / a month ago

Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina get best marks in Latin America for pandemic response - poll

FILE PHOTO - Workers wearing protective gear walk in the Villa 31 slum during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 6, 2020. Picture taken May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina are the Latin American countries that earned the best grades for their response to the coronavirus, according to a poll conducted in the region and released on Friday, while Brazil was tagged as the worst performer.

The survey by the consulting firm Trespuntozero, to which Reuters had exclusive access, shows that in eight of the 10 countries in which the study was conducted, the respondents considered Uruguay one of the best controllers of the pandemic.

According to the poll, the performance of Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou against the pandemic had 77.8% approval in his own country; that of Paraguayan Mario Abdo, 76.7%; and that of Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez, 68%.

As of Thursday, Uruguay registered 947 cases with 28 deaths, according to the Reuters count, Argentina 69,941 cases with 1,385 deaths and Brazil 1,495,628 with 61,862 deaths.

(reut.rs/2UpTAh3)

The survey was carried out among 10,000 people distributed equally in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

Asked about which countries in the region had done the worst against the pandemic, respondents put Brazil at the bottom.

“The countries surveyed were clear on which model not to follow: Brazil,” Shila Vilker, director of the Buenos Aires-based consultancy Trespuntozero, told Reuters.

Brazil has more confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths than anywhere outside the United States. President Jair Bolsonaro has criticized lockdown and social-distancing orders issued by governors and mayors. Echoing U.S. President Donald Trump, he has recommended unproven anti-malarial drugs to treat the virus.

Reporting by Nicolas Misculin in Buenos Aires; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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