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Security & Strategic Review - May 2020

BOLIVIA: Border crisis exemplifies panicked pandemic response

One of Bolivia’s first recorded cases of coronavirus (Covid-19), a 65-year-old woman in the city of Santa Cruz, the capital of the eponymous department, was turned away from four hospitals by panicked patients and staff, before eventually being isolated by local authorities. This debacle sparked national outrage, and yet was in many ways representative of Bolivia’s broader response to Covid-19, coloured by the widespread recognition that the country’s healthcare system is simply not equipped to handle an outbreak on the scale seen elsewhere.

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