The current COVID-19 pandemic has been aggravating the situation of deforestation in the Amazon, further endangering the survival of poor people and local communities. Brazil is currently the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 80 K deaths and more than 2 million cases. With the fire season that is about to arrive, their effects will further worsen Amazonian deforestation and breathing problems caused by the virus. According to the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), in the first three months of the year 2020 there has been a 50% increase in deforestation if compared to the previous year. Farther, researchers of the Andean Amazon project (MAAP) counted more than 900 hundred fire outbreaks in the first half of June, leading to a 40% increase compared to the same period of 2019. Specialists also believe a rise in forest fires could increase breathing difficulties in a population already badly hit by the new coronavirus. Hence, the combination between the virus and the fires could have severe consequences on health conditions of the local population. These issues are affecting poor people and local communities, whose incapacity to practice social distancing and limited access to health facilities is undermining their chances of surviving. LET’S NOT LEAVE THEM ALONE!
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