Following the latest death toll from covid-19 in Uruguay (238 in the last seven days), the country moved up to second place in South America in terms of the number of deaths from the disease relative to its population (3.5 million) in the last week. A study shows that the behaviour of the population in the face of the pandemic during 2020 has changed in the last weeks, resulting in more mobility amid record daily cases and a progressive vaccination program.
In contrast to what happened with new covid-19 cases, where Uruguay yesterday ranked first worldwide, many countries in the world have recorded higher indicators of coronavirus deaths than Uruguay in the last week. However, the country with the most deaths from covid-19 so far in the pandemic, the United States, currently has a mortality rate of only 2.38 people per million inhabitants.
Uruguay is experiencing the worst times of the pandemic and the President of the Republic, Luis Lacalle Pou, announced that the measures taken two weeks ago were extended until May at a conference on Wednesday. Dissatisfied with the drop in mobility registered throughout the country in the last two weeks, the government is confident that the results of the vaccination - 21.6% of the population was inoculated until Wednesday - will begin to be felt by the end of April.
On the same day of the president's conference, the National Emergency System reported a new record in new cases of covid-19 registered in one day: 3,935.
Uruguay recorded an average of 34 deaths from covid-19 per day from March 31 to April 6, an average of 9.79 deaths per million inhabitants. The figure in the region is only surpassed by Brazil, with 12.97 deaths per million inhabitants, although Venezuela's figures have been questioned since the beginning of the pandemic.
Still at the end of the ranking
Uruguay's covid-19 mortality has skyrocketed in recent days. However, the data do not yet affect deaths since the pandemic began. Uruguay remains in the penultimate place in the list of countries in the region, with 349.82 deaths per million inhabitants, and the country above it, Paraguay, has a much higher value: 634 deaths per million inhabitants. This table is led by Peru, with 1,611 deaths,62 deaths per million inhabitants.
Although being the less affected country of the region by the pandemic during 2020, a multidisciplinary study published in the Children and Youth Services Review shows that in that year, the coronavirus pandemic elicited negative feelings in the majority of participants with children under 18, mainly related to worry, fear, anxiety and uncertainty.
“Social distancing measures caused a major disruption in daily habits, which were mostly attributed to changes in work-related activities and the closure of educational institutions,” reflects the study.
The good outcome of the country during the rise of the pandemic worldwide in 2020 without strict measures such as lockdown could be explained in the behaviour of the society, the study shows. Ninety-five percent of the participants in the study conducted by Unicef and Udelar reported having experienced changes in their daily routines after the implementation of social distancing measures. As expected, the most frequent response was “staying at home.” However, this behaviour changed. And during this year’s holy week, mobility raised 161% compared to last year.