According to the World Health Organization, the Americas is the new epicenter of the pandemic with over 351,000 deaths, the highest worldwide. Ecuador has registered 5,847 deaths according to the Public Health Ministry by August 2020, however those number might increase to 9,259 if we add suspected Covid-19 deaths. Since the virus hit for the first time, we have seen that the most affected populations are people of color and low-income communities.
These are family, friends, and colleagues who do not have the privilege of staying home, or those who cannot fully observe preventive measures. This population is composed of essential workers, bus drivers, informal vendors of groceries, and those who need to use public transportation, among many others. Sadly, low income backgrounds are common among people of color, making them even more vulnerable. Making matters more complicated, extractive activities in the Amazon region have not stopped during the quarantine, increasing the risk of contagion among indigenous populations where state-led health services are ineffective or inexistent. For more information on racism, the pandemic, and extractive activities click here.