Resumen internacional / International roundup

ESPAÑOL

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Por/By Agencias-Agencies
redaccion@latinocc.com

Muchos países de América Latina han tomado medidas agresivas para enfrentar el coronavirus, como cerrar sus fronteras, muelles y aeropuertos a los extranjeros, declarar estados de emergencia y ordenar el cierre de negocios.

México, por el contrario, hasta ahora ha adoptado una actitud de “todo como siempre”.

La gente todavía abarrota los mercados callejeros recogiendo montones de frutas y verduras.

Los automóviles y camiones continúan llenando las calles y los pasajeros de trenes de metro, aunque el volumen de tráfico es notablemente menor.

El presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador y su gobierno han dicho que un cierre del país dañaría desproporcionadamente a las personas pobres y también sería un peso psicológico para todos los mexicanos.

Dicen que no hay razón para imponer restricciones importantes antes de que los funcionarios de salud lo consideren necesario, un momento que esperan a fines de marzo, según el patrón del virus en otra parte y la fecha del 27 de febrero del primer caso confirmado de México.

El enfoque preocupa a muchos expertos.

Pero es la actitud personal del presidente lo que ha desconcertado a los mexicanos.

AMLO, como le conocen, continúa asistiendo a reuniones públicas masivas, dándose la mano y besando bebés.

Cuando se le preguntó cómo estaba protegiendo a México, López Obrador sacó dos amuletos religiosos de su billetera y los mostró con orgullo.

“El escudo protector es el ‘Quítateme de encima, Satanás”, explicó López Obrador, leyendo la inscripción en el amuleto,” Detente, enemigo, porque el Corazón de Jesús está conmigo”.

El mandatario, a menudo descrito como un izquierdista, es de hecho un nacionalista con profundos sentimientos religiosos.

“Creo que el presidente López Obrador está tratando de proyectar confianza y minimizar el riesgo”, señala Jesús Silva-Herzog, comentarista político y profesor de la Universidad Tecnológico de Monterrey.

Silva-Herzog agregó:

“Creo que lo que terminó haciendo es minimizar los riesgos asociados con la emergencia y enviar mensajes que contradicen lo que se dice en casi todos lados”.

México informó su primera muerte por el virus el miércoles: un hombre de 41 años de edad, según se dice, era obeso y padecía diabetes.

Hasta el jueves por la noche, el país tiene 164 casos confirmados de coronavirus, en comparación con poco más de 40 hace una semana.

Aún así, Hugo López-Gatell, subsecretario del Ministerio de Salud y la cara pública de la administración del equipo de respuesta al coronavirus de López Obrador, dijo que el país permanece en lo que llama la fase 1 de la epidemia, con todos los casos relacionados con la importación de otros países y no transmisión comunitaria

PERÚ

La pandemia de coronavirus ha proporcionado un resquicio de esperanza para un ex presidente peruano que ha estado bajo custodia estadounidense mientras lucha contra la extradición en su país para enfrentar un juicio por cargos de corrupción.

Un juez de los Estados Unidos dictaminó el jueves que Alejandro Toledo debería ser liberado bajo fianza de $1 millón porque la pandemia ha reducido su riesgo de fuga.

“La preocupación de la corte era que Toledo huiría del país”, escribió el juez magistrado Thomas S. Hixson en su decisión.

“Pero los viajes internacionales son difíciles ahora”.

El juez había negado previamente la fianza de Toledo después de que los fiscales señalaron que los funcionarios encontraron una maleta con $40,000 en efectivo cuando fue arrestado.

Pero al notar que Toledo tiene 74 años, Hixson acordó que el virus podría presentar un riesgo de enfermedad grave o muerte.

“El riesgo de que esta persona vulnerable contraiga COVID-19 mientras está en la cárcel es una circunstancia especial que justifica la libertad bajo fianza”, dictaminó Hixson.

Para la mayoría de las personas, el virus solo causa síntomas leves o moderados, como fiebre y tos, pero puede causar enfermedades más graves para algunos, especialmente adultos mayores y aquellos con problemas de salud existentes.

El juez agregó que un tratado requiere que las autoridades estadounidenses “lo entreguen vivo a Perú”.

“Tal vez el riesgo de COVID-19 valga la pena si puede escapar y escapar”, escribió Hixson. “El gobierno dice que enfrenta la posibilidad de una vida en prisión si es condenado en Perú. Pero escapar es más arriesgado y más difícil ahora “.

El ex presidente es buscado en su país de origen por las acusaciones de recibir millones en sobornos de la constructora brasileña Odebrecht. Él niega los cargos.

Toledo fue presidente de Perú de 2001 a 2006 y ha vivido en California en los últimos años, desafiando las órdenes de los tribunales de Perú de volver a enfrentar cargos.

El escándalo de Odebrecht ha cambiado la política en Perú, poniendo a algunos de los políticos más prominentes del país tras las rejas. La compañía reconoció en un acuerdo de declaración de culpabilidad de 2016 con el Departamento de Justicia de los Estados Unidos que pagó $ 800 millones a funcionarios en gran parte en América Latina a cambio de lucrativos contratos de obras públicas.

Para ser liberado de la cárcel, Hixson dijo que Toledo primero debe pagar $ 500,000 en fianza en efectivo y que su esposa debe entregar sus pasaportes. No estaba claro de inmediato qué tan rápido podría pagarse la fianza de Toledo. Los amigos han prometido ayudar con parte de la fianza.

ARGENTINA

Compartir la bebida mate es una vieja tradición en algunas partes de América del Sur. El nuevo coronavirus está cambiando eso.

En Uruguay, Paraguay y Argentina, las personas consumen habitualmente la bebida, hecha remojando las hojas de la planta de mate en agua caliente, en grupos, compartiendo una pajita de metal de boca en boca. La tradición trasciende las clases sociales, está presente en el hogar y el lugar de trabajo, y está disponible para casi cualquier ocasión social.

Incluso las superestrellas del fútbol como Lionel Messi y Luis Suárez a menudo se han visto con una calabaza de compañero en la mano. Ahora, a medida que los países de todo el mundo implementan el distanciamiento social en un intento por frenar la propagación de la enfermedad COVID-19, se insta a los entusiastas del mate a consumir la bebida individualmente.

Algunas personas están haciendo un gran esfuerzo para poner los problemas de salud por encima de los hábitos de compartir la cerveza social. Otros, no tanto.

“Para los uruguayos, siempre es una costumbre compartir”, dijo Oscar Brun de Uruguay, de 66 años, quien ha vivido en Argentina durante décadas, reconoció que depende de la persona si quieren compartir la paja como ansiedad masiva. sobre el nuevo coronavirus barre la región.

Hay más de 230 casos reportados de personas infectadas con el virus en Argentina, Uruguay y Paraguay, alarmando a aquellos que previamente no pensaban en pasar la paja del mate.

“Es feo ser así, sin dar un beso, sin abrazar, sin compartir pareja”, dijo Roberto Gervasoni, de 67 años. “Es feo cuando estás privado de tus costumbres”.

La socióloga Florencia Blanco Esmoris dijo que la bebida de mate se remonta al uso entre los pueblos indígenas en partes de América del Sur durante la conquista española y que hoy es “un canal de comunicación que permite el diálogo y la conexión social”.

Señaló que los argentinos están desarrollando formas creativas para tomar mate juntos, haciéndolo en reuniones en línea.

Dardo García, un vendedor en Buenos Aires, dijo que está vendiendo una mayor cantidad de tazas pequeñas para consumir mate, ya que más personas son reacias a compartir las tazas grandes.

ENGLISH

The West African nation of Mali has roughly one ventilator per 1 million people — 20 in all to help the critically ill with respiratory failure. In Peru, with more than 32 million people, about 350 beds in intensive care units exist.

The coronavirus is now moving into parts of the world that may be the least prepared. Some countries in Africa and Latin America lack the equipment or even trained health workers to respond.

Many of their nations are slamming shut borders and banning large gatherings in the hope of avoiding the scenes in wealthier countries such as Italy and the U.S., but local transmission of the virus has begun.

Containing that spread is the new challenge. Africa has more than 900 confirmed cases and Latin America more than 2,500, but an early response is crucial as fragile health systems could be quickly overwhelmed.

With such limited resources, experts say identifying cases, tracing and testing are key.

“We have seen how the virus actually accelerates that after a certain … tipping point. So the best advice for Africa is to prepare for the worst and prepare today,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.

“We have different and significant barriers to health care in Africa, which could be a real challenge,” said Dr. Ngozi Erondu, a senior research fellow at the Chatham House Center for Global Health Security.

Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa do not have the isolation wards or large number of health care workers to respond to a surge of COVID-19 patients, she said.

Liberia and Burkina Faso only have a few ventilators for their millions of people.

Dr. Bernard Olayo, founder of the Kenya-based Center for Public Health and Development, said most countries in Africa can’t afford ventilators. Even if ventilators were provided by other countries, it’s not sufficient because of the lack of qualified people to use them.

“It’s complex, it’s very very complex because the patients that end up on ventilators require round the clock care by larger teams,” he said.

Many patients could do well with just oxygen, he said, but close to half of health facilities in African countries don’t have reliable oxygen supplies. Oxygen concentrators can be used, but given the frequent electricity cuts in many countries, oxygen generators and pressure cylinders are needed because they can function while power is out.

The WHO regional Africa director, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said the lack of ICU facilities and ventilators is one of the biggest challenges facing the continent.

“We have been able to identify importing a field hospital-type of facility that can be set up and equipped with some of the key items needed, such as ventilators,” she said. Training has begun in Republic of Congo and Senegal so health care workers will be ready to operate it, and World Bank funding is being made available, she said.

It’s not all grim. Elsie Kanza, head of Africa at the World Economic Forum, said many countries are deploying lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016 that killed well over 10,000 people.

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was created to respond to that Ebola outbreak. As of Thursday, 43 countries can test for the coronavirus, it said. In addition, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma this week pledged to donate 1.1 million testing kits, 6 million masks and 60,000 protective suits and face shields to share among all African countries.

Meanwhile, Senegal is helping to develop a fast COVID-19 test that is expected in June.

But some including Adama Dempster, a human rights advocate in Liberia, warned that support for African nations’ efforts might dry up if cases soar.

“It’s something that is worrisome because other countries that are so powerful and have the sophistication to deal with things like this are themselves concerned about their own situation,” she said.

Africa isn’t the only continent worried about what’s to come.

MEXICO

Many countries in Latin America have taken aggressive measures to deal with the coronavirus such as closing their borders, dock and airports to foreigners, declaring states of emergencies and ordering business shutdowns.

Mexico, by contrast, has so far taken a “business as usual” attitude. People still crowd street markets picking through piles of fruit and vegetables. Cars and trucks continue to fill the streets and commuters throng subway trains, though the volume of traffic is noticeably lower.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his government have said a shutdown of the country would disproportionately hurt poor people and also be a psychological weight on all Mexicans.

They say there is no reason to impose major restrictions before health officials deem them necessary — a moment they are expecting in late March, based on the virus’ pattern elsewhere and the Feb. 27 date of Mexico’s first confirmed case.

The approach is worrying many experts.

But it is the president’s personal attitude that has Mexicans puzzled. He continues to attend mass public rallies, shaking hands and kissing babies. Asked how he was protecting Mexico, López Obrador removed two religious amulets from his wallet and proudly showed them off.

“The protective shield is the ‘Get thee behind me, Satan,’” López Obrador said, reading off the inscription on the amulet, “Stop, enemy, for the Heart of Jesus is with me.”

López Obrador, often described as a leftist, is in fact a nationalist with deep religious feelings.

“I think President López Obrador is trying to project confidence and minimize the risk,” said Jesus Silva-Herzog, a political commentator and professor at the Tecnológico de Monterrey University.

But, Silva-Herzog added, “I think that what he has wound up doing is minimizing the risks associated with the emergency, and sending messages that contradict what is being said almost everywhere else.”

Mexico reported its first death from the virus Wednesday — a 41-year-old man said to have been obese and suffering from diabetes. As of late Thursday, the country has 164 confirmed cases of coronavirus, up from just over 40 a week ago.

Still, Hugo López-Gatell, deputy secretary in the Health Ministry and the administration’s public face of López Obrador’s coronavirus response team, said the country remains in what it calls phase 1 of the epidemic, with all cases related to importation from other countries and no community transmission

Federal officials have suspended classes for about a month beginning after Friday’s school sessions and are encouraging things like social distancing, working from home and following hygienic measures recommended by international and domestic health experts.

Some large events have been called off, yet others such as a multi-day music festival attended by tens of thousands in Mexico City were allowed to proceed. Federal officials recommend that “non-essential” gatherings should not be larger than 5,000 people, while local authorities in the capital have said events topping 1,000 people should be canceled.

Mexico has only 5,000 emergency beds, and about 1,500 intensive care or sealed rooms, for a population of over 125 million, but officials still exude a sense of calm at their daily briefings on the virus. And some observers say they are chilled by remarks like López Obrador’s.

“I think this has shown a lack of respect by the president,” said Carlos Padilla, a Mexico City business administrator. “I think he should be doing a better job of protecting the public, in every sense.”

Once community transmission begins — and Mexican officials make no secret that they know it is coming, sooner rather than later — the country is likely to see more aggressive measures.

“We are prepared. We have enough budget. All the resources we need,” López Obrador said Thursday.

Some, however, are beginning to be nervous about the lack of response now, including among the president’s political opposition. The conservative National Action Party sent a letter to the Pan American Health Organization on Thursday expressing its “deep concern about the government’s actions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Former diplomat Enrique Berruga Filloy said in a column for the newspaper El Universal on Thursday that Mexico’s geographic advantages gave it more leeway to plan for the virus and take timely actions, but that the administration has squandered the chance.

“The tsunami is coming and we, instead of seeking safety, are playing on the beach,” Berruga Filloy wrote.

Like in other countries, Mexico’s stock market has been hit hard by coronavirus concerns. The peso has slid precipitously, trading over 24 to the dollar at times this week for the first time in history.

PERU

The coronavirus pandemic has provided a silver lining for a former Peruvian president who has been in U.S. custody while he fights extradition back home to face trial on corruption charges.

A U.S. judge ruled Thursday that Alejandro Toledo should be released on $1 million bail because the pandemic has reduced his flight risk.

“The court’s concern was that Toledo would flee the country,” Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson wrote in his decision. “But international travel is hard now.”

The judge had previously denied Toledo bail after prosecutors pointed out that officials found a suitcase with $40,000 in cash when he was arrested.

But noting that Toledo is 74, Hixson agreed the virus could present a risk of serious illness or death.

“The risk that this vulnerable person will contract COVID-19 while in jail is a special circumstance that warrants bail,” Hixson ruled.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, like a fever and cough. But it can cause more severe illness for some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems.

The judge added that a treaty requires U.S. authorities to “deliver him to Peru alive.”

“Maybe the risk of COVID-19 is worth it if he can make a run for it and get away,” Hixson wrote. “The government says he faces the prospect of life in prison if he is convicted in Peru. But escape is riskier and more difficult now.”

The former president is wanted in his home country on accusations of taking million in bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. He denies the charges.

Toledo was Peru’s president from 2001 to 2006 and has lived in California in recent years, defying orders from Peru’s courts to return to face charges.

The Odebrecht scandal has upended politics in Peru, putting some of the country’s most prominent politicians behind bars. The company acknowledged in a 2016 plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department that it paid $800 million to officials largely in Latin America in exchange for lucrative public works contracts.

In order to be released from jail, Hixson said Toledo must first post $500,000 in cash bail and his wife must surrender her passports. It was not immediately clear how quickly Toledo’s bail might be posted. Friends have promised to help with part of the bail.

ARGENTINA

Sharing the mate beverage is an old tradition in parts of South America. The new coronavirus is changing that.

In Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina, people customarily consume the beverage – made by steeping leaves of the mate plant in hot water – in groups, sharing a metal straw from mouth to mouth. The tradition transcends social classes, is present in the home and workplace, and on hand for just about social occasion.

Even soccer superstars such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have often been seen with a mate gourd in hand. Now, as countries around the world implement social distancing in an attempt to curb the spread of the COVID-19 disease, mate enthusiasts are being urged to consume the beverage individually.

Some people are making a big effort to put health concerns above habits of sharing the social brew. Others, not so much.

“For Uruguayans, it’s always a custom to share,” said 66-year-old Oscar Brun of Uruguay, Brun, who has lived in Argentina for decades, acknowledged that it’s up to the individual whether they want to share the straw as mass anxiety over the new coronavirus sweeps the region.

There are more than 230 reported cases of people infected with the virus in Argentina Uruguay and Paraguay, alarming those who previously thought nothing of passing around the mate straw.

“It’s ugly to be like this, without giving a kiss, without embracing, without sharing mate,” said 67-year-old Roberto Gervasoni. “It’s ugly when you’re deprived of your customs.”

Sociologist Florencia Blanco Esmoris said the mate beverage dates back to use among indigenous people in parts of South America during the Spanish conquest and that today it is “a channel of communication that allows dialogue and social connection.”

She noted that Argentines are developing creative ways to drink mate together, doing so in online gatherings.

Dardo García, a vendor in Buenos Aires, said he is selling a greater number of small cups for consuming mate, since more people are reluctant to share the big cups.

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