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Pictures | Thu Apr 2, 2020 | 11:35am EDT

Sprawling Mexican border camp ill-prepared for coronavirus

Yanisleydi de la Rosa, 34, and her daughter Anyeli Cruz de la Rosa, 4, who are seeking asylum in the U.S. wear protective masks, amid an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020. Local authorities and advocates are worried. A large outbreak of the epidemic here would threaten to "collapse" the city's health system, one official warned. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Yanisleydi de la Rosa, 34, and her daughter Anyeli Cruz de la Rosa, 4, who are seeking asylum in the U.S. wear protective masks, amid an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020. Local...more

Yanisleydi de la Rosa, 34, and her daughter Anyeli Cruz de la Rosa, 4, who are seeking asylum in the U.S. wear protective masks, amid an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020. Local authorities and advocates are worried. A large outbreak of the epidemic here would threaten to "collapse" the city's health system, one official warned. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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A migrant child, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., wears a protective mask as he stands in line for food in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020. For months, thousands of migrants, many U.S. asylum seekers returned under the Trump administration's controversial "Remain in Mexico" policy implemented last year, have passed through the encampment nestled among brush by the river-border.   REUTERS/Go Nakamura

A migrant child, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., wears a protective mask as he stands in line for food in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020. For months, thousands of migrants, many U.S. asylum seekers returned under the Trump...more

A migrant child, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., wears a protective mask as he stands in line for food in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020. For months, thousands of migrants, many U.S. asylum seekers returned under the Trump administration's controversial "Remain in Mexico" policy implemented last year, have passed through the encampment nestled among brush by the river-border. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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Volunteer workers wear protective masks as they serve food to migrants who are seeking asylum in the U.S. in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020. Cases of colds and flu spread rapidly, and advocates have decried poor health and sanitation conditions in the settlement that currently houses an estimated 2,000 people. Border towns like this will soon swell even further: The Mexican foreign ministry said it had agreed to accept Central Americans denied entry by U.S. officials as a result of a new policy implemented by the Trump administration in the wake of the outbreak.  REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Volunteer workers wear protective masks as they serve food to migrants who are seeking asylum in the U.S. in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020. Cases of colds and flu spread rapidly, and advocates have decried poor health and...more

Volunteer workers wear protective masks as they serve food to migrants who are seeking asylum in the U.S. in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020. Cases of colds and flu spread rapidly, and advocates have decried poor health and sanitation conditions in the settlement that currently houses an estimated 2,000 people. Border towns like this will soon swell even further: The Mexican foreign ministry said it had agreed to accept Central Americans denied entry by U.S. officials as a result of a new policy implemented by the Trump administration in the wake of the outbreak. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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Unelia Alonso, 62, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., wears a handmade face mask in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020. If a large number of cases emerge in the camp, "there would be a collapse of the health system," said Ulises Gonzalez De la Garza, a coordinator for the state health department in Matamoros. "We lack personnel, we lack resources."  REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Unelia Alonso, 62, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., wears a handmade face mask in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020. If a large number of cases emerge in the camp, "there would be a collapse of the health system," said Ulises...more

Unelia Alonso, 62, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., wears a handmade face mask in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020. If a large number of cases emerge in the camp, "there would be a collapse of the health system," said Ulises Gonzalez De la Garza, a coordinator for the state health department in Matamoros. "We lack personnel, we lack resources." REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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Asylum seekers wait in line to get a meal at a migrant camp where more than 2,000 live and where social distancing is difficult to practice in Matamoros, Mexico March 31, 2020. Migrant populations around the world - often lacking in state provided healthcare and the ability to isolate themselves at home - are seen as among the most vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

Asylum seekers wait in line to get a meal at a migrant camp where more than 2,000 live and where social distancing is difficult to practice in Matamoros, Mexico March 31, 2020. Migrant populations around the world - often lacking in state provided...more

Asylum seekers wait in line to get a meal at a migrant camp where more than 2,000 live and where social distancing is difficult to practice in Matamoros, Mexico March 31, 2020. Migrant populations around the world - often lacking in state provided healthcare and the ability to isolate themselves at home - are seen as among the most vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
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A migrant child, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., wears a protective mask at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, as local authorities prepare to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, in Matamoros, Mexico March 23, 2020. Matamoros had a population of more than 520,000 people as of 2015, the national statistics institute says. Its five public hospitals have just 25 ventilators and 11 intensive care beds between them, according to the State Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks. Experts say that is a fraction of what would be needed to treat a large outbreak of COVID-19.


REUTERS/Go Nakamura

A migrant child, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., wears a protective mask at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, as local authorities prepare to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, in Matamoros, Mexico March 23, 2020. Matamoros had a...more

A migrant child, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., wears a protective mask at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, as local authorities prepare to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, in Matamoros, Mexico March 23, 2020. Matamoros had a population of more than 520,000 people as of 2015, the national statistics institute says. Its five public hospitals have just 25 ventilators and 11 intensive care beds between them, according to the State Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks. Experts say that is a fraction of what would be needed to treat a large outbreak of COVID-19. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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A medical staff of Global Response Management works in the pharmacy for migrants in Matamoros, Mexico March 23, 2020. Health official Gonzalez De la Garza said the state was vaccinating migrants for the flu and distributing information about proper hygiene as well as coronavirus symptoms. 

REUTERS/Go Nakamura

A medical staff of Global Response Management works in the pharmacy for migrants in Matamoros, Mexico March 23, 2020. Health official Gonzalez De la Garza said the state was vaccinating migrants for the flu and distributing information about proper...more

A medical staff of Global Response Management works in the pharmacy for migrants in Matamoros, Mexico March 23, 2020. Health official Gonzalez De la Garza said the state was vaccinating migrants for the flu and distributing information about proper hygiene as well as coronavirus symptoms. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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Migrants bathe in the Rio Grande, March 22, 2020. Migrants who test positive but do not need to be hospitalized will be instructed to remain in isolation. Health officials are exploring the possibility of designating a special shelter for them, he said.


REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Migrants bathe in the Rio Grande, March 22, 2020. Migrants who test positive but do not need to be hospitalized will be instructed to remain in isolation. Health officials are exploring the possibility of designating a special shelter for them, he...more

Migrants bathe in the Rio Grande, March 22, 2020. Migrants who test positive but do not need to be hospitalized will be instructed to remain in isolation. Health officials are exploring the possibility of designating a special shelter for them, he said. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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A Central American migrant washes the hands of a child, March 20, 2020. However, experts caution that widespread social distancing is virtually impossible in the bustling camp of small domed tents. Migrants will soon begin spacing their tents further apart, said Fernandez, a member of the camp council.


REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

A Central American migrant washes the hands of a child, March 20, 2020. However, experts caution that widespread social distancing is virtually impossible in the bustling camp of small domed tents. Migrants will soon begin spacing their tents further...more

A Central American migrant washes the hands of a child, March 20, 2020. However, experts caution that widespread social distancing is virtually impossible in the bustling camp of small domed tents. Migrants will soon begin spacing their tents further apart, said Fernandez, a member of the camp council. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
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A medical staff of Global Response Management asks the condition of a migrant patient, March 23, 2020. 


REUTERS/Go Nakamura

A medical staff of Global Response Management asks the condition of a migrant patient, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

A medical staff of Global Response Management asks the condition of a migrant patient, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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A migrant from Haiti, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., rests under the Matamoros-Brownsville International Bridge, March 20, 2020. 
REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

A migrant from Haiti, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., rests under the Matamoros-Brownsville International Bridge, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

A migrant from Haiti, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., rests under the Matamoros-Brownsville International Bridge, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
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Andrea, an asylum seeker working at the pharmacy at a camp, shows Perla, 7, how to put on a protective mask in Matamoros,  March 16, 2020. Global Response Management, a nonprofit providing medical services, plans to step up care by building a 20-bed field hospital near the camp, to be staffed in alternating shifts by teams of five medical practitioners. The group aims to bolster supplies so it can operate entirely from Matamoros in two weeks, citing concerns that further restrictions at the border could make it harder for volunteers to cross back and forth.

REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

Andrea, an asylum seeker working at the pharmacy at a camp, shows Perla, 7, how to put on a protective mask in Matamoros, March 16, 2020. Global Response Management, a nonprofit providing medical services, plans to step up care by building a 20-bed...more

Andrea, an asylum seeker working at the pharmacy at a camp, shows Perla, 7, how to put on a protective mask in Matamoros, March 16, 2020. Global Response Management, a nonprofit providing medical services, plans to step up care by building a 20-bed field hospital near the camp, to be staffed in alternating shifts by teams of five medical practitioners. The group aims to bolster supplies so it can operate entirely from Matamoros in two weeks, citing concerns that further restrictions at the border could make it harder for volunteers to cross back and forth. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
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Protective masks as seen in a Global Response Management pharmacy at an encampment, March 16, 2020. 
REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

Protective masks as seen in a Global Response Management pharmacy at an encampment, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

Protective masks as seen in a Global Response Management pharmacy at an encampment, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
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Francisco, an asylum seeker from El Salvador, disinfects the portable toilets at a migrant camp, March 16, 2020. 

REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

Francisco, an asylum seeker from El Salvador, disinfects the portable toilets at a migrant camp, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

Francisco, an asylum seeker from El Salvador, disinfects the portable toilets at a migrant camp, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
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Mexican asylum seeker Elena helps her daughter Belinda, 5, wash her hands after using the portable toilets at a migrant encampment, March 16, 2020. 
REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

Mexican asylum seeker Elena helps her daughter Belinda, 5, wash her hands after using the portable toilets at a migrant encampment, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

Mexican asylum seeker Elena helps her daughter Belinda, 5, wash her hands after using the portable toilets at a migrant encampment, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
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A migrant camp where more than 2,000 people live in Matamoros, March 16, 2020. 
REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

A migrant camp where more than 2,000 people live in Matamoros, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

A migrant camp where more than 2,000 people live in Matamoros, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
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Flyers to instruct how to wash hands are seen at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 23, 2020. 

REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Flyers to instruct how to wash hands are seen at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Flyers to instruct how to wash hands are seen at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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Migrants, who are seeking asylum in the U.S., wash their clothes at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Migrants, who are seeking asylum in the U.S., wash their clothes at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Migrants, who are seeking asylum in the U.S., wash their clothes at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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Rene Reyes Nuno and his girlfriend Ana Luisa Morales, who are seeking asylum in the U.S., embrace at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Rene Reyes Nuno and his girlfriend Ana Luisa Morales, who are seeking asylum in the U.S., embrace at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Rene Reyes Nuno and his girlfriend Ana Luisa Morales, who are seeking asylum in the U.S., embrace at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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Migrants children, who are seeking asylum in the U.S., watch a cartoon movie at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Migrants children, who are seeking asylum in the U.S., watch a cartoon movie at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Migrants children, who are seeking asylum in the U.S., watch a cartoon movie at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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A migrant holds a baby at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

A migrant holds a baby at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

A migrant holds a baby at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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A child is seen at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

A child is seen at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

A child is seen at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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A volunteer worker wears a protective mask as he serves food for migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

A volunteer worker wears a protective mask as he serves food for migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

A volunteer worker wears a protective mask as he serves food for migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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Migrants children play while adults line up for food at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Migrants children play while adults line up for food at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Migrants children play while adults line up for food at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
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A man walks on the Matamoros-Brownsville International Bridge, while migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. bath in the Rio Bravo, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

A man walks on the Matamoros-Brownsville International Bridge, while migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. bath in the Rio Bravo, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

A man walks on the Matamoros-Brownsville International Bridge, while migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. bath in the Rio Bravo, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
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Migrants queue for water at an encampment, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

Migrants queue for water at an encampment, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

Migrants queue for water at an encampment, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
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A Central American migrant cooks beans at an encampment, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

A Central American migrant cooks beans at an encampment, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

A Central American migrant cooks beans at an encampment, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
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Central American migrants share a moment at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

Central American migrants share a moment at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

Central American migrants share a moment at an encampment of more than 2,000 migrants, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
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A hand sanitizer bottle is seen at a kitchen in a migrant camp, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

A hand sanitizer bottle is seen at a kitchen in a migrant camp, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

A hand sanitizer bottle is seen at a kitchen in a migrant camp, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
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Mexican asylum seekers clean up the camp where they live, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

Mexican asylum seekers clean up the camp where they live, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

Mexican asylum seekers clean up the camp where they live, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
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Merary, 12, (L) draws as Jefferson, 9 looks at a book in a migrant encampment where they live, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

Merary, 12, (L) draws as Jefferson, 9 looks at a book in a migrant encampment where they live, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas

Merary, 12, (L) draws as Jefferson, 9 looks at a book in a migrant encampment where they live, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
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