On February 26, Brazil confirmed the first coronavirus case in Latin America. The virus has since spread rapidly in the country, infecting thousands of people and killing dozens.
Compounding the problem is Brazil’s stark inequality, which has given rise to a two-pronged health system. More than half of the country’s intensive care unit (ICU) beds are in private hospitals, but only one-quarter of Brazilians have private health insurance. Moreover, public health infrastructure is fragile, and experts warn that the virus could soon overtake Brazil’s densely packed urban slums.