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Medical staff in Iran earlier this week
Medical staff in Iran earlier this week

For the coming weeks, Worldcrunch will be delivering daily updates on the coronavirus global pandemic. The insidious path of COVID-19 across the planet is a blunt reminder of how small the world has become. Our network of multilingual journalists are busy finding out what's being reported locally — everywhere — to provide as clear a picture as possible of what it means for all of us at home, around the world. To receive the daily brief in your inbox, sign up here.

SPOTLIGHT: WHERE ARE THE MASKS? THE ALARMING RISE OF DOCTORS DYING

Italy's overall COVID-19 death count, currently above 7,000, is stunning enough. But another number is no less disturbing: 30 doctors who have died, after they contracted the virus working to save the lives of others. Yes, the doctors, nurses and other medical staff are the heroes — and martyrs — of this global crisis, much like New York firefighters who rushed up the Twin Towers just before they came crumbling down.

But this disaster is different, as it unfolds day after day, and often in contrasting conditions for the medical crews. The World Health Organisation has reported a global shortage of the medical masks, gowns, gloves and eye protection that are recommended for treating COVID-19 patients, and also reduce the chance of infection for the caregiver. In Italy, some 5,000 health workers have been infected, and are dying at a rate of two per day since the first doctor died on March 11. Criticism has been growing over the shortage of protective equipment, with doctors often wearing the same face mask for over a week. La Repubblica reports that in the city of Palermo, doctors and nurses have even launched a fundraising drive to purchase masks. In India, a leading doctors' association has written a letter to authorities pleading for more surgical masks and gloves.

Still, to have any chance of limiting the overall death rate, countries need even more doctors on the front lines. In the U.S., where the crisis appears to be reaching a peak, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for retirees to help staff the hospitals as the amount of emergency beds needed is predicted to double. Despite the obvious infection risk for older people, the call was answered by 30,000 former health professionals as of Monday. The first doctor to die from coronavirus in France was a recent retiree, 67 year-old Jean-Jacques Razafindranazy. A colleague in the northern French town of Compiègne told Le Parisien daily: "We didn't ask to die. We assume our responsibilities, but people don't realize the gravity of the situation."

— Carl-Johan Karlsson

THE SITUATION - 7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

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Society

Urban Indigenous: How Peru's Shipibo-Conibo Keep Amazon Culture Alive In The City

For four years, indigenous photographer David Díaz Gonzales has documented the lives and movements of his Shipibo-Conibo community, as many of them migrated from their native Peruvian Amazon to the city. A work of remembrance and resistance.

For Shipibo-Conibo women, sporting a fringe is usually a sign of celebration or ceremony.

Rosa Chávez Yacila

YARINACOCHA — It was decades ago when the Shipibo-Conibo left their settlements along the banks of the Ucayali River, in eastern Peru, to begin a great migration to the cities. Still among the largest Amazonian communities in Peru — 32,964 according to the Ministry of Culture — though most Shipibo-Conibo now live in the urban district of Yarinacocha.

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