Guatemala central America’s worst affected country by pandemic

Guatemala City, Aug 27 (EFE).- With a 97% hospital occupancy rate, Guatemala is Central America’s worst affected country by the Covid-19 pandemic, in part due to a slow vaccination scheme with less than 6% of its population jabbed.

With high levels of poverty and deficient health systems, the six Central American countries, home to some 48.5 million people, have accumulated 1.78 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 36,000 deaths.

Some 18 million doses of vaccine against the new coronavirus have been administered in the region, which has faced a supply shortage.

Guatemala, a country with a population of 16.3 million, has reported at least 11,552 deaths from Covid-19, the highest figure in Central America.

The country is experiencing an aggressive third wave which is mounting pressure on the healthcare system.

At this pace, with some 445,000 confirmed cases, the country could exceed 2.6 million cases and 25,000 deaths by October, health ministers warned.

With 7.6 million doses, fewer than 900,000 people have received the full course of the vaccine, accounting for only 5.4% of the population.

Costa Rica, a country of 5.1 million inhabitants, has accumulated more than 447,000 cases and at least 5,378 deaths.

The country is going through a wave of infections that has stretched the capacity of ICUs to the limit.

While Guatemala lags, El Salvador, Panama and Costa Rica are leading the vaccination progress.

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