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In Brazil, graveyard shift reveals staggering cost of pandemic

S - In almost three decades of working in Sao Paulo's largest cemetery, the oldest gravediggers can't remember performing more than 10 night burials.

Argentina ICU staff bracing for next wave of Covid-19 admissions

Florencio Varela - At an ICU unit in a low-income Buenos Aires suburb, exhausted staff are bracing for a new wave of coronavirus admissions.

GoFundMe or death: Venezuelans seek online help in Covid pandemic

Caracas - Four family members with Covid-19, zero savings and no relief from Venezuela's collapsed public health system: Gabriela Rodriguez saw no option but to seek help from crowdfunding.

Venezuela's Guaido allocates $30m for vaccines

Caracas - Opposition leader Juan Guaido will allocate $30 million in Venezuelan state funds that are frozen in the United States towards vaccinations in his country.

Infected by Covid, Colombian doctor stared death in the face

Apo - Colombian doctor Norberto Medina has lived all facets of the coronavirus epidemic.He has seen patients die and nursed others back to health.

Ecuador health ministry raided over vaccine scandal

Quito - Ecuador investigators raided the health ministry on Wednesday as part of a probe into influence peddling against former health minister Juan Carlos Zevallos.

Argentina has new health chief after vaccine line-jumping scandal

Buenos Aires - Argentina's new health minister took office on Saturday following the resignation of her predecessor after he was caught helping friends skip the line for Covid-19 vaccinations.

Peru suffering medical oxygen crunch amid Covid spike

- Hundreds of Peruvians waited in long lines Saturday to get medical oxygen for loved ones with Covid-19, amid a shortage of the gas in the pandemic's second wave.

Doctors on strike in Bolivia to force coronavirus lockdown

La Paz - Health care workers in Bolivia's region worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic began a 48-hour strike on Tuesday to demand a lockdown to battle the rise in infections.

First coronavirus vaccine administered in Bolivia

Santa Cruz De La Sierra - A nurse on Friday became the first person in Bolivia to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, receiving a shot of Russia's Sputnik V, which is still being tested.

'Paddington' bears tour crowd-free Machu Picchu

- Two members of South America's only bear species -- a mother and her cub -- have been spotted exploring the ruins of the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, where tourist numbers have been restricted due to the pandemic.

Brazil, Bolivia get AstraZeneca Covid jabs from India

Bras - Amid the global scramble for coronavirus vaccines, Brazil said Wednesday it would import two million doses of AstraZeneca's Covishield jab from India.

Mexico City plastic ban poses challenge for virus-hit firms

Mexico - Mexico's ban on single-use plastic in its capital, one of the world's most populous metropolises, has delighted environmentalists but dismayed some businesses struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Brazil prosecutors investigate alleged Neymar New Years party

Mangaratiba - Brazilian prosecutors said Wednesday they were investigating reports that football star Neymar has organized a New Year's Eve mega-party at his luxury home near Rio de Janeiro, despite public health measures to curb rising coronavirus deaths.

Spain health minister to stand down, run for top Catalan job

Madrid - Heath Minister Salvador Illa, the face of Spain's battle against coronavirus, is stepping down to run for the top post in Catalonia in February's regional elections, his party said Wednesday.

Inside the only Covid-free town in Brazil

Cedro Do Abaete - A looping message blares out from a loudspeaker on Flavio Rafael's bicycle as he rides through the deserted streets of Cedro do Abaete: "Our town is the only one in Brazil with no confirmed cases. It's up to you to keep the virus away.

Tourists return to misty Machu Picchu after months of isolation

Mists hung low over Machu Picchu, adding an eerie, otherworldly atmosphere as delighted tourists entered the iconic Inca citadel for the first time after eight months of lockdown due to the coronavirus.

Peru's Machu Picchu reopens after Covid lockdown

The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of Peru's tourist sites, reopened Sunday with an ancient ritual after a nearly eight-month lockdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In land of 'manana,' pandemic sparks rush for wills

Mexico - Fear of dying from the coronavirus led Laura Villa to finally get around to doing what many Mexicans had put off until the pandemic struck -- making a will.

Chile surpasses 500,000 Covid-19 cases on eve of referendum

Santiago - Chile's coronavirus case total has now surpassed half a million, authorities said Saturday, as the country prepares to go to the polls for a referendum on whether to replace the Pinochet-era constitution.

Pandemic halts bullfighting where animal rights activists couldn't

- In a matter of months, the novel coronavirus achieved something that animal rights activists failed to do in decades: put a halt to bullfighting in Peru.

As pandemic rages, Mexicans pray to death 'saint'

Mexico - Their arms raised towards the sky, worshippers of Mexico's "saint" of death pray before a giant cloaked skeleton asking for protection from the coronavirus and its devastating economic fallout.

Doctors' coats turned into Covid-fighting art in Panama

Panama - Artist Genaro Rodriguez was so moved after being commissioned to turn a Covid-19 doctor's white coat into a piece of art that he likened the experience to "painting a superhero's cape.

Latin America's virus victims, and the spaces they leave behind

Mexico - An untouched exercise bike, a guitar that has gone silent, an empty couch -- these are just a few of the cherished possessions and everyday habits that tell the story of those who have died from Covid-19.

Madrid region imposes partial lockdown as virus spirals out of control

Madrid - At the epicentre of an explosion of new infections in Spain, the Madrid region on Friday imposed partial lockdown measures on nearly one million people to try to slow the spread of the virus.

As virus spreads, Madrid region eyes new restrictions

Madrid - Once again at the centre of a major coronavirus outbreak, the Madrid region admitted Thursday it was overwhelmed, calling for "decisive" central government action on the eve of unveiling fresh restrictions.

In-person learning creates dilemma for New York's poorest families

New York - As the first day of school approaches, New York's poorest -- often uninsured families -- face a risky choice: send kids to school where they could contract coronavirus, or keep them home for online classes, potentially compromising their academic progr...

Peru extends coronavirus state of emergency

- Peru on Friday extended its national emergency until September 30 and prolonged a lockdown in some of the areas worst affected by the coronavirus, the government said.

Robot eases loneliness of Mexican virus patients

Mexico - A robot at a hospital in the Mexican capital is providing a lifeline for coronavirus patients separated from their relatives and reducing the risk of infection for medical workers."Hi, I'm LaLuchy Robotina! What's your name?" the 1.4-meter-tall (4.

El Salvadoran sisters attending online classes up a tree

Los - Two sisters in western El Salvador are taking their love of learning to great heights: every day they climb a mountain, then scramble up an olive tree to get a signal to access their online college lessons.
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