In Peru, coronavirus patients in need of oxygen resort to the black market and its 1,000 percent markups
But Solís was gasping for air. Rodríguez borrowed the money from family and friends.
“What else were we supposed to do?” she asked, tearing up. “Without the oxygen, my son can’t make it through the night. Even if they took him to hospital, they would just kill him.
“I have no idea how we will pay the money back.”
The family’s plight has become typical in Peru, which has reported more than 237,000 cases of covid-19 and 7,000 deaths. Even before the pandemic struck, the Andean country’s public health-care system was struggling to meet the routine needs of its 31 million citizens after decades of chronic underinvestment. Peru spends less than $700 on health care per person per year, among the lowest rates as a share of GDP in Latin America.
Now, the outbreak has encouraged Peru’s army of forgers — the country is the world’s biggest producer of counterfeit dollar bills — to flood the market with fake or low-quality masks and medicines to treat covid-19.
[Source: Washington Post]