Brazil’s political leadership, led by President Jair Bolsonaro, has denied the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and rejected measures to prevent its spread. The country has one of the highest new infection rates in the world.
The São Paulo neighborhood of Paraisópolis has been hit hard. With 100,000 people squeezed into a little over three-quarters of a square mile, it is the most densely populated favela in Brazil.
A neighborhood association in Paraisópolis is fighting to reduce the harm caused by the coronavirus. In the absence of government assistance, residents have set up an informal emergency-care system consisting of private ambulances, isolation hospitals set up in local schools, and street captains that each keep tabs on 50 neighborhood families.