The grisly scenes of bodies left on the streets of the Ecuadorean city of Guayaquil seemed dystopian even in the era of the 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.
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