Argentina announced its second coronavirus-related death on Friday as Ecuador reported its first, taking the total death toll in Latin America to five as the virus shows signs of spreading rapidly.
Venezuela, Uruguay, Guatemala and Suriname reported their first cases of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall cases in the region have more than doubled in the last two days to over 340 as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned governments on Thursday to prepare their health services to cope.
Several Latin American countries have tightened restrictions on travel links with Europe, from where many people in the region are descended and still have family.
A 61-year-old Argentine man who returned from Italy on February 24 and had previously suffered from pneumonia died of “respiratory failure,” the Chaco provincial health ministry said in a statement.
Italy is the worst affected country outside of China, where the virus originated.
Argentina reported the first Latin American coronavirus death on March 7.
In Ecuador, a 71-year-old woman who had traveled to Spain died of a “severe respiratory failure,” Health Minister Catalina Andramuno said.
The woman was also the first person in Ecuador to have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease....