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Face masks now required in public; New virus cases trend down; Prostitution ruled non-essential; Ecuador, Peru target border crossings

Ecuador’s Emergency Operations Committee has ordered all residents to wear protective face coverings in public areas. Under terms of the order, municipalities will enforce the rule which is intended to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus. According to Interior Minister María Paula Romo, any mask, scarf or bandana that covers the mouth and nose […]

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The public regional hospital saved my friend

By Jeremiah Reardon My friend Ramon’s wrists are secured to a side rail of his critical care bed. Perspiration trickles from his forehead to straining eyes which roll upward. I wipe his brow and hold a hand. I’m alarmed at his condition on my first visit to the hospital and pray for his recovery. A […]

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Health experts warn that coronavirus could ‘wipe out’ indigenous communities in the Amazon

By Joao Fellet Indigenous communities in Brazil’s Amazon region are in danger of being “wiped out” by the coronavirus, according to health experts. Respiratory illnesses — such as those that develop from the influenza virus — are already the main cause of death for native communities. By Sunday April 5, Brazil had reported more than […]

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Doctors and nurses especially hard hit by virus

Ecuador’s health care professionals are paying a high price for their frontline service in the fight against Covid-19. According the Ministry of Health, more than 1,600 of the country’s doctors and nurses, or 44 percent of all confirmed cases, have tested positive for the virus. “These are very troubling numbers but they aren’t unexpected,” says […]

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Why does the Covid-19 mortality rate vary so much from country to country?

By Sara Boboltz If you’re standing in Germany, the coronavirus pandemic might look a little bit less overwhelming than if you’re standing in, say, Italy or the United States. Germany’s coronavirus mortality rate is among the lowest in the world ― 1.5% as of Sunday ― while Italy’s is a shocking 12.4%, the U.S. is […]

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From bats to people and beyond: How the Covid-19 virus began and spreads

By Carolyn Kormann For thousands of years, a parasite with no name lived happily among horseshoe bats in southern China. The bats had evolved to the point that they did not notice; they went about their nightly flights unbothered. One day, the parasite — an ancestor of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 — had an opportunity to […]

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More supplies and health workers headed to Guayaquil; New case numbers drop; City closes Feria Libre; Firemen punished for party

Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner announced Saturday new government assistance to help Guayaquil weather the coronavirus outbreak. “As of Monday, we are sending 1,500 hospital beds to the city as well as large deliveries of personal protective gear, hospital equipment and medicine,” he said. In addition, he said “a large number” of public health doctors and […]

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Experts predict ‘tsunami’ of Covid-19 cases in Latin America followed by a deep recession

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) expects a “tsunami” of Covid-19 cases in Latin America and the Caribbean, the director of the organization, Carissa Etienne, said on Saturday. She is urging the private sector to collaborate with governments to address the crisis by speaking at a forum of ministers and senior executives in the region […]

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Coronavirus sends Venezuelan refugees on a 1,000-mile trek back home

By Matthew Bristow Venezuelan families made destitute by Colombia’s coronavirus lockdown are walking a thousand miles or more across the Andes to get home. Nicolas Maduro’s Venezuela might be undergoing one of the deepest economic slumps in modern history, but it’s still preferable to sleeping in a park in Medellin, or under a bridge in […]

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