The World Health Organization declared Latin America "a new epicentre" of the coronavirus pandemic as President Donald Trump ramped up pressure on state and local governments to speed up the reopening of the reeling American economy.
Surges in infections across much of Central and South America have driven the global case count to nearly 5.2 million, with more than 337,000 deaths, even as hard-hit Europe and the United States cautiously move into a recovery phase.
Unlike in Europe and the United States, where the elderly were hardest-hit, a significant number of deaths in Brazil have been younger people, who are often driven by poverty to work despite the threat of infection.
The pandemic has hammered the American economy and led to calls for an end to virus restrictions, despite the Covid-19 numbers still rising in the United States -- the worst-hit country in the world with 1.6 million infections and 96,000 deaths.
Experts have warned that until a vaccine or treatment is developed for the virus, lockdown measures will persist in some form to prevent new waves of infections, a factor that has put immense pressure on economies.