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Covid-19 and the Health Crisis in Latin America

Yanis Iqbal

Latin America has surpassed more than 5 million Covid-19 cases to overtake North America, with 4.8 million Covid-19 cases, as the region worst-hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. This astronomic increase in Covid-19 cases has been accompanied by a corresponding economic catastrophe of great magnitude. According to a United Nations Policy Brief entitled “The Impact of COVID-19 on Latin America and the Caribbean”, “Parts of Latin America and the Caribbean have become hotspots of the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, exacerbated by weak social protection, fragmented health systems and profound inequalities.

Beginning from the 1980s and 1990s, Latin America witnessed the advent of neoliberalism wherein capital accumulation and immiseration intensified. This neoliberal restructuring was done through the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) that were composed of two phases.