Saturday, April 11, 2020
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Latin America’s health systems brace for a battering (COVID-19)

A procession of disappointments awaits residents of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, when illness strikes. Those who report symptoms of covid-19 to the health-care hotline get appointments scheduled for several weeks later, by which time they will probably have recovered or died. With ambulance services overwhelmed, stricken people arrive at hospitals in pickup trucks, only to find there are no empty beds. When somebody dies at home, the corpse joins a long waiting list for removal. The city has run out of wooden coffins. Some relatives dump loved ones’ bodies in the sweltering streets.

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