BOGOTA, Colombia

With COVID-19 cases in Latin America surpassing 5 million, the United Nations has warned of a “generational catastrophe” because of the impact the pandemic will have on education for decades to come.  

Bolivia’s interim government has decided to cancel the rest of its school year, and distance learning will begin for more than 30 million Mexican school children on Aug. 24, the country’s education secretary has announced.  

Many countries in the region, including Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, are debating whether to offer in-person education or remote learning.

The return to in-person schooling is accompanied by uncertainty, while the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of improving in the region.  

Brazil

Brazil continues to be Latin America’s COVID-19 hotspot, with over 2.8 million cases and 95,819 deaths.

In the last five months, the coronavirus has spread throughout the country, reaching 98% of the more than 5,550 municipalities where 209 million people live.

Bolivia

Mobile crematory ovens are being manufactured in Bolivia to respond to the demand for funeral services caused by a surge in deaths associated with COVID-19.

In recent weeks, in the cities most affected by the pandemic, abandoned corpses have been found piled up in the streets because families are not finding places to bury or cremate the bodies of loved ones and they fear getting contaminated themselves.

The Ministry of Health activated an emergency protocol that allows for bodies to be buried outside cemeteries and in mass graves. 

There are 81,846 coronavirus cases in Bolivia and more than 3,200 people have died.  

Peru

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra signed a decree which exempts foreign doctors and nurses from having to validate their degrees, which will allow thousands of Venezuelan health workers who fled their country to join the Peruvian health system during the coronavirus emergency.

More than 830,000 Venezuelans have arrived in the country in recent years.

Peru has more than 430,100 cases of coronavirus and 19,811 deaths.

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