RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - In March, when Covid-19 was claiming victims worldwide, it seemed that Latin America might escape relatively unscathed. Governments in the region chose very different approaches to tackle the pandemic, from strict quarantines in El Salvador and Peru to less severe measures in Brazil and Mexico.

But as early as June, the news could hardly be gloomier for the highly urbanized region of 600 million people: it is undoubtedly the new . . .

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