An insight on the harsh reality of Covid-19 outside of the U.S.
Nearly 3 million coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have been reported across the world, according to the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at John Hopkins University and Medicine (CSSE). Among the many places affected, two Latin American cities have gained a lot of attention for the humanitarian crisis they live in as a result of COVID-19.
The city of Guayaquil is part of the province of Guayas, Ecuador. Guayaquil is the epicenter for COVID-19 in the country. The CSSE reported 576 deaths in Ecuador; most have been from this region.
A local news team reported that small local hospitals in Guayaquil no longer have the space needed to treat the amount of people infected by the virus. With more than 180 deaths reported in one of their hospitals, medical staff have had to move the bodies to the outside areas of the hospital. Government officials and health organizations have not taken appropriate measures to handle this crisis.
The medical teams have been working through this pandemic but have not received any medical care for themselves.
One of the smaller hospitals, has over 70 nurses that have tested positive, and more than 200 of their medical staff are showing signs of COVID-19. However, the healthcare team continues to work despite their condition because there are not enough resources or supplementary staff available to care for their community.
Families in Guayaquil remain at home as the number of casualties spike. Local news compiled interviews and series of videos where many families are seen crying to the government asking for help. Many have one or more family members at high risk of being infected or that have been infected.
Many families plead in desperation to the government officials to acknowledge and take action in their region for the casualties that have been left behind in the streets and outside the hospitals.
The regions of the Amazon have also been significantly affected according to The Guardian.
The CSSE reported more than 61,000 cases and 4,205 deaths in Brazil. This region has reported having to create more space in local cemeteries because the amount of casualties have increased drastically.
According to NPR, this region of the Amazon was not equipped to handle such a crisis. There are rarely any testing kits available for the residents of Manaus. It was confirmed that there are about 100 deaths per day in this region and it continues to rise.
Due to the lack of testing, many of the deaths have not been officially reported as being caused by COVID-19, but doctors confirm that all the symptoms and signs are directly linked to this virus.
Although Manaus is a city known for its homicides and massacres, residents from this area say that they are living through a whole different kind of nightmare.
In an interview with NPR, Manuel Viana, a Manaus doctor discussed what it was like serving his community. According to Viana, the health care system in her community was not prepared for anything like the coronavirus.
“Seeing those families being unable to come to bid farewell or pray is heartbreaking … We will give everything we have, we cry then we wake up and continue to work,” Viana said.
Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported the U.S and European governments can partially compensate for salaries for the millions of people affected, as well as implementing unemployment benefits. However, their main concerns are the regions of Africa, South Asia and South America. These are marginalized regions with no support from their informal economies.
The Washington Post also reported the uncertainty and effects seen in developing countries is coming from their inability to afford social distancing and is therefore creating chaos and inability to control the spread of COVID-19.As millions of people in developing countries are experiencing a humanitarian crisis from the coronavirus, the U.S. prepares to implement new guidelines for opening up America Again despite its 961,000 reported cases and 54,530 deaths.