Bodies left out on sidewalks. The authorities struggling to keep track of deaths. Funeral parlors, out of coffins, using cardboard boxes made by companies that usually package bananas and shrimp.
The calamity unfolding in Ecuador’s business capital, Guayaquil, offers an ominous look at how officials’ ability to respond to the coronavirus pandemic in Latin America can be dangerously hamstrung by the inequality, weak public services and fragile economies that mark much of the region.
“What we’re seeing in Guayaquil is what can happen in most of South America’s large cities, where pockets of cosmopolitan richness coexist with widespread poverty,” said Alexandra Moncada, who directs activities in Ecuador for the international aid organization CARE.
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