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No more bodies on the streets. But coronavirus batters Ecuador with disproportionate force

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  • No more bodies on the streets. But coronavirus batters Ecuador with disproportionate force

    Source: https://triblive.com/news/no-more-bo...tionate-force/

    No more bodies on the streets. But coronavirus batters Ecuador with disproportionate force
    Los Angeles Times
    Los Angeles Times | Sunday, April 26, 2020 5:56 p.m.

    About an hour ago

    QUITO, Ecuador — The grisly scenes of bodies left on the streets of the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil seemed dystopian even in the era of coronavirus.

    “This peaceful city received a bomb from the air, like Hiroshima,” Guayaquil Mayor Cynthia Viteri told a TV interviewer last week.

    The shocking images that went viral in March and April proved a warning about the virus’ capacity to collapse fragile healthcare and mortuary systems, especially in developing nations. But even as such ghoulish scenes have faded, the specter of Guayaquil — which some refer to as the Latin American Wuhan — looms ominously over a region where infections are not expected to peak until coming weeks in many countries as ill-prepared as Ecuador.

    In Brazil, critics have warned that the denialist approach of President Jair Bolsonaro — who has dismissed the virus as a “little flu” — could lead to an apocalyptic outcome.

    “I fear that if this grows Brazil could see some cases like those horrific, monstrous images we saw in Guayaquil,” former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told Britain’s the Guardian newspaper.

    The prospect of bodies on the streets remains the region’s nightmare scenario.

    Claudia López, mayor of Bogotá, the capital of neighboring Colombia, recently told a radio interviewer: “I don’t want Bogotá to become the next Guayaquil.”

    But while corpses no longer litter the streets of Guayaquil, life remains far from normal in the steamy coastal business hub of 2.8 million. Infections and deaths mount daily, and Ecuador remains sealed off and in lockdown. Daily life and the economy are paralyzed throughout the South American nation.

    The pandemic has hit Ecuador with disproportionate force.

    A country of 17.6 million, Ecuador is the 8th most populous nation in Latin America. Yet it stands second only to Brazil in the number of infections and covid-19 deaths in Latin America....
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