Bolivia police face death on coronavirus frontline

By Monica Machicao and Santiago Limachi LA PAZ (Reuters) - Bolivia's police forces in La Paz and El Alto have collected since April more than 3,300 bodies of people who died at home or in public places, about 80% of whom are suspected of having been infected with the novel coronavirus, a police chief said. With health systems overwhelmed, the police have taken on a frontline role collecting the dead, with the number increasing to around three per hour in the past week as infections spread in the landlocked Andean nation of about 11.5 million people

Reuters July 30, 2020 00:10:40 IST
Bolivia police face death on coronavirus frontline

coronavirus frontline" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/07-2020/30/2020-07-29T164442Z_1_LYNXNPEG6S1HD_RTROPTP_2_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-BOLIVIA-POLICEMEN.jpg" alt="Bolivia police face death on coronavirus frontline" width="300" height="225" />

By Monica Machicao and Santiago Limachi

LA PAZ (Reuters) - Bolivia's police forces in La Paz and El Alto have collected since April more than 3,300 bodies of people who died at home or in public places, about 80% of whom are suspected of having been infected with the novel coronavirus , a police chief said.

With health systems overwhelmed, the police have taken on a frontline role collecting the dead, with the number increasing to around three per hour in the past week as infections spread in the landlocked Andean nation of about 11.5 million people.

"The health service and forensic institutes have collapsed due to a lack of personnel, because the number of corpses that are now being collected is very large," Walter Sossa, director of the special crime force in El Alto, told Reuters.

Bolivia's official tally of coronavirus infections stands at more than 72,000, with a death toll of 2,700, though as in many countries the actual number of fatalities is thought to be much higher.

Often with little protection, 527 police officers have been infected with the virus, Sossa said, meaning officers sometimes are carrying the bodies of colleagues. Some bodies have been collected on streets and a recent case involved confirming the death of an infant from the virus.

"We are human and we can be infected like any other person. We are also in the first line of work, and so we are more exposed than others," said Sossa, adding that the bodies of three officers were retrieved on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Mónica Machicao and Santiago Limachi; Writing by Daniel Ramos; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Will Dunham)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

UK opposition party calls for inquiry into UK PM flat 'cover-up'
World

UK opposition party calls for inquiry into UK PM flat 'cover-up'

By Andrew MacAskill LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's opposition Labour Party called on Tuesday for an investigation into whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson's press secretary "knowingly misled" journalists over the refurbishment of his official Downing Street flat.

Israeli military says it downed Hezbollah drone on Lebanon border
World

Israeli military says it downed Hezbollah drone on Lebanon border

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli forces brought down a drone belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah group that crossed into northern Israel from Lebanon on Tuesday, the Israeli military said. In a statement, the military said that earlier in the day troops had located another Hezbollah drone that also had been downed along the border with Lebanon several weeks ago.

As U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, lawmakers fear dark future for women
World

As U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, lawmakers fear dark future for women

By Patricia Zengerle and Jonathan Landay WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S.