Collecting the dead.

Despite strict measures to control the coronavirus, this South American nation of 32 million people has become one of the worst-hit countries by the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 104,000 cases and 3,000 deaths, (numbers as of May 2020) Peru ranked 12th in the world as far as the numbers of confirmed diagnoses go, more than those reported by China and just trailing behind India. The disaster’s true scope is even worse. With more than half of cases going uncounted, according to some doctors’ estimates, Peruvian officials call the coronavirus pandemic the most devastating to impact the country since 1492, when Europeans began bringing diseases like smallpox and measles to the Americas. Peruvians are dying at home by the hundreds. In the capital, Lima, the grueling, perilous work of recovering bodies from homes is shouldered by Faneite, Zerpa and their fellow workers from the Piedrangel funeral home, who, clad in full-body hazmat suits, face masks and goggles to protect themselves, collect as many as 10 bodies daily.

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