August 2, 2020 / 4:41 AM / 10 days ago

Latin America coronavirus death toll surges past 200,000

People are seen in Copacabana Beach amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 28, 2020. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

LIMA (Reuters) - The death toll in Latin America from the novel coronavirus passed 200,000 on Saturday night, a Reuters tally showed, underlining the region’s status as one of the global epicenters of the pandemic that is testing governments to the limit.

Apart from the United States, Brazil and Mexico have racked up more fatalities from the virus than any other country, and together they account for around 70% of the regional death toll.

Both have struggled to balance the need to curb the spread of the virus with restrictive safety measures while trying to reopen their economies, which have been battered by the crisis.

Brazil reported a daily record of 1,595 coronavirus deaths earlier in the week and registered another 1,088 on Saturday. Mexico recorded 784 fatalities on Saturday and for the first time logged more than 9,000 new infections from the virus.

Other countries in Latin America are also battling to hold the coronavirus at bay, and the region breached the 200,000 mark after Peru registered another 191 fatalities.

Reporting by Marco Aquino; Editing by Dave Graham and Christopher Cushing

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