Covid-19 Summary from Several Latin American Countries

By Democracy Now

HAVANA TIMES – The following are alarming reports on the Coronavirus situation from Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Mexico and El Salvador.

Ecuador’s Coronavirus Deaths May Be 15 Times Higher Than Reported

The New York Times reports Ecuador’s COVID-19 death toll is 15 times higher than the official government count, making it one of the worst in the world. The Times’s analysis of official death registrations in Ecuador reveals a staggering 7,600 more people died of COVID-19 from March 1 to April 15, more than the average mortality rate in recent years.

This spike is in stark contrast to the 503 deaths the government attributed to the coronavirus as of April 15.

Brazil Coronavirus Deaths Top 400 in a Day

Brazil has reported its highest daily death toll since the beginning of the pandemic, with over 400 COVID-19 deaths within 24 hours. This comes as far-right President Jair Bolsonaro continues to lash out against restrictions imposed by local governments across Brazil to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Peru’s Hospitals at Breaking Point

In Peru, medical workers are protesting the country’s hospitals’ lack of preparedness, with coronavirus cases topping 20,000 and a death toll of over 500. Many hospitals are on the verge of collapse. This is Rosmini Ayquipa, a nurse at one of the worst-affected hospitals in Lima.

    Rosmini Ayquipa: “We have to use these face masks right now, with the exposure we are having, and to dispose of them. That is what the World Health Organization has said, which is to use and dispose. But we have to wear this face mask for the whole month. We have to use three face masks for a whole month, so we reuse it and reuse it. So what has happened? Where I work, colleagues have become infected.”

Mexican Medical Workers Face Harassment, Attacks over COVID-19 Fears

In Mexico, hospital workers are speaking out against the recent abuse and discrimination they have received from strangers and authorities, who believe doctors and nurses are helping spread the coronavirus.

Over 20 medical staff across Mexico reported being assaulted, thrown off buses, and some were banned from entering their own homes. One nurse described having bleach thrown at her as she walked home after a shift treating COVID-19 patients.

El Salvador Pandemic Response a “Death Sentence” for Poor Communities

A new report warns Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele is taking authoritarian measures to deal with the coronavirus outbreak in El Salvador, as human rights leaders in the country say Bukele is using a pandemic to further his militaristic agenda.

The report also sounds the alarm on the chronic shortage of water in El Salvador and urges the government to establish adequate protocols to ensure the protection of women, girls, LGBTQ people and others during the pandemic. In a statement, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, which authored the report, wrote, “This pandemic will be a death sentence for those who could otherwise be saved by a humane and comprehensive public health approach.”

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