Government ministers from across South America met last week to discuss the need for coordinated efforts to contain and combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Chilean Foreign Minister Teodoro Ribera, as President Pro Tempore of Progreso y la Integración de América del Sur (PROSUR), convened a forum on member countries to address the growing pandemic. Ribera called the meeting at the direction of Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ribera made clear that he was not pointing fingers at countries in the region for taking too much or too little action. Rather, he said making common cause in combatting the outbreak was “about causing as little harm as possible to the economies of the various countries, such as in their export capacity, to the displacement of people, etc.”
As of today, there are more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in more than 100 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization.
In South America, the WHO confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, and Peru.
Over the weekend, the first death from the coronavirus occurred in Argentina and an additional nine cases were confirmed in the South American nation, according to La Nacion.
In a statement marking COVID-19 surpassing 100,000 cases world-wide, the WHO called on all countries to slow the spread of the virus by identifying and treating infected individuals, preparing hospitals, and training health workers.