The Guardian

The Guardian 21 Apr 2020

Bolsonaro won't help with coronavirus, so Brazil's favelas are helping themselves

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Brazil's President Bolsonaro has described coronavirus as a "little flu" and resisted lockdown measures even as the death toll rises. But in Rio's poorest favelas, where people live in overcrowded conditions and lack proper sanitation, they are bracing for the worst. Buba Aguilar is an activist in Acari who is taking matters into her own hands, soliciting online donations to buy food parcels and basic coronavirus kit - soap, masks - for her neighbours who cannot afford to stop working and stay at home. As Acari records its first coronavirus death, we follow Buba through a typical day fighting to help her community in the face of government inaction.
Lockdowns leave poor Latin Americans with impossible choice: stay home or feed families


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Brazil's healthcare system is on the verge of collapse, according to its own managers. Many clinics are already too overwhelmed by coronavirus cases to take in any new patients. There are fears the country could become one of the world's COVID-19 pandemic hot spots. President Jair Bolsonaro still maintains it's a relatively minor disease and that broad social distancing measures are not needed. Bolsonaro is also facing a fresh blow to his political authority. Justice Minister Sergio Moro has resigned, accusing Bolsonaro of meddling with the police.
Across the country, hospitals are overflowing with coronavirus patients, and health care workers are scrambling to keep up. Physician assistants are trained as generalists — but in several states, including Florida, the help they are able to provide is limited not by their ability but by strict supervision agreements with a specific physician. This administrative red tape creates barriers for hospitals in need of workers during an all-hands-on-deck crisis. In the above video, Kimberly Berggren, a physician assistant in Florida, implores Gov. Ron DeSantis to join states like New York and Michigan and remove restrictions in her state so hospitals can get the help they need.
There are now 9,000 patients with coronavirus in hospitals across England. A quarter of doctors are ill or self isolating. The new Nightingale Hospital in east London will begin taking its first 500 patients this week and will soon have room for 4,000. The government's chief scientific adviser says the number of infections and deaths will continue to rise over the next two to three weeks. Fiona Bruce presents BBC News at Ten reports from Health Editor Hugh Pym and Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg.

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