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Hard Numbers: Ecuador as epicenter, cocaine face masks, Libya ceasefire, Ortega returns

1.3 million: British customs officials confiscated a whopping $1.3 million worth of cocaine smuggled in a shipment of face masks this week, yet another sign of the way organized crime groups are exploiting the current health crisis to maximize their profits.


34: After a 34-day absence from public view, in which conspiracies circulated that he was either dead or gravely ill, Nicaragua's leftist president Daniel Ortega reappeared Wednesday with a televised address to the nation, in which he struck back at widespread criticism that his government has done little to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

10: A 10-day ceasefire in war-torn Libya will come into effect today after the UN implored the Tripoli-based government and rival forces to cease hostilities as dozens of coronavirus cases were confirmed in that country. Libya's weak healthcare infrastructure could not withstand a serious COVID-19 outbreak, the UN warns.

1,900: In just two weeks, around 1,900 bodies were collected in Guayaquil, Ecuador's main industrial hub, for burial – a five-fold increase in that city's normal mortality rate. Guayaquil is now Latin America's coronavirus epicenter, with gruesome images emerging in recent weeks of bodies piling up in the streets because hospitals, morgues, and crematoriums have been pushed to the brink.

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Live digital event | Time for nature: Turning biodiversity risk into opportunity | Wed, Dec 14 | 8 am EST

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Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

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