Hospitals are functioning in an emergency mode, said Dr. Tapiwa Mungofa, a physician at the Sally Mugabe Hospital.
The situation is no better in KwaZulu-Natal, which has the highest prevalence of H.I.V. in South Africa. Dr. Zolelwa Sifumba was a teenager when she saw images of skeletal patients dying of AIDS. Over the past few years in KwaZulu-Natal, she is again seeing patients with full-blown AIDS.
Were seeing people come in at the stage where theyre kind of on deaths door, she said. What are we not doing right?
Some remote parts of the world are being decimated by the coronavirus but their very remoteness makes the pandemics impact on these other big infectious killers impossible to measure.
The town of Tabatinga in Amazonas, the biggest state in Brazil, is more than 1,000 miles from the closest city with an I.C.U. unit, Manaus. The government has been using airplanes to transport coronavirus patients to Manaus, but many cases are being missed, said Dr. Marcelo Cordeiro-Santos, a researcher at the Tropical Medicine Foundation in Manaus.
Hospitals are giving chloroquine to people with Covid-19, at the recommendation of the Brazilian ministry of health, even though evidence now suggests it does not help and may even be harmful.
Chloroquine is also a crucial malaria medicine, and its indiscriminate use now may lead to resistance to the drug, Dr. Cordeiro-Santos warned with possibly dire consequences for those infected in the future. But he also said its possible that widespread distribution of chloroquine may help protect residents of Amazonas from malaria.