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June 25, 2020
As the novel coronavirus outbreak in Brazil explodes past 1 million cases, more than anywhere outside...
PORTEL, Brazil
The Wider Image: "How many people are going to die?" - COVID-19 races up the Amazon
As the novel coronavirus outbreak in Brazil explodes past 1 million cases, more than anywhere outside the United States, the frontlines have shifted increasingly from modern hospitals in major cities to poor, remote corners of this massive country. The cities of Belem and Amapa at the mouth of the Amazon emerged as major coronavirus hotspots in April and May. The virus has since spread deep into surrounding rural areas. Reuters spent a week accompanying medical professionals in their battle with the pandemic near Marajo Island, which splits the Amazon in two as it approaches the Atlantic Ocean. In isolated settlements built on stilts along the river, most households survive on fishing and harvesting local fruits, earning just a few dollars a day. Social distancing is nearly impossible in wooden shacks built one next to the other. Many lack phones and it can take a day or more to reach health clinics. The coronavirus has taken root here, killing scores and infecting hundreds more, public health records show. Reuters saw that severe infections, like Silva's suspected case, are often identified and treated late, when odds are against the patients. Yet public health professionals put on a brave face, making house calls and ferrying patients on hours-long boat trips as they wonder like Silva's nephew how much longer it will go on. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino SEARCH "COVID-19 BRAZIL AMAZON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGE OF THE DAY
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