Philip Reeves

Philip Reeves is an award-winning international correspondent covering South America. Previously, he served as NPR's correspondent covering Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.

Reeves has spent two and a half decades working as a journalist overseas, reporting from a wide range of places including the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and Asia.

He is a member of the NPR team that won highly prestigious Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University and George Foster Peabody awards for coverage of the conflict in Iraq. Reeves has been honored several times by the South Asian Journalists' Association.

Reeves covered South Asia for more than 10 years. He has traveled widely in Pakistan and India, taking NPR listeners on voyages along the Ganges River and the ancient Grand Trunk Road.

Reeves joined NPR in 2004 after 17 years as an international correspondent for the British daily newspaper The Independent. During the early stages of his career, he worked for BBC radio and television after training on the Bath Chronicle newspaper in western Britain.

Over the years, Reeves has covered a wide range of stories, including Boris Yeltsin's erratic presidency, the economic rise of India, the rise and fall of Pakistan's General Pervez Musharraf, and conflicts in Gaza and the West Bank, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Reeves holds a degree in English literature from Cambridge University. His family originates from Christchurch, New Zealand.

The number of people infected by the coronavirus in some of Brazil's poorest and most vulnerable neighborhoods could be 30 times higher than the officially registered count, according to Brazilian researchers.

Since the pandemic began, there has been intense concern about the virus's impact on these communities, including favelas where the population is predominantly poor and black.

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Brazil reported a record spike of daily coronavirus infections Thursday, as widespread criticism continues to dog President Jair Bolsonaro for playing down the outbreak. The country has confirmed more than 438,000 cases, the world's second-highest number after the United States.

The rise in cases comes as São Paulo, the state with the highest number of registered deaths, prepares to ease restrictions in some areas.

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COVID-19 is devastating Brazil. It's already killed more than 22,000 Brazilians. And as NPR's Philip Reeves reports, there's a particular concern about its impact in the Amazon rainforest.

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COVID-19 is causing mayhem across South America, except in Argentina. There's been little testing, but there is widespread agreement the government there has kept numbers down. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

(CHEERING)

Argentina is loosening the strict lockdown that helped secure one of the lowest death tolls from COVID-19 in South America.

Restrictions imposed more than seven weeks ago will remain in effect in and around the capital, Buenos Aires. The nation's borders and schools will stay closed, and public gatherings will still be banned. But Monday, the administration of President Alberto Fernández began allowing provincial mayors and governors to open up businesses and restore free movement if coronavirus case numbers remain low.

"I just wish a helicopter would come and fly me away from here," says Manuel Viana, a Brazilian funeral director in the front line of the spiraling coronavirus crisis. "We are living through a nightmare."

Viana is among the citizens and officials struggling to cope with a tragedy under way in Manaus, a city of 2.2 million in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.

Cemeteries and hospitals have been overwhelmed by a surge in the number of deaths, most of which are not registered in official COVID-19 statistics because of a lack of testing and bureaucratic delays.

Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro is the focus of a fresh outcry after taking part in a public protest against democratic institutions that included calls for a military takeover.

The president's participation in the event has caused outrage among judges, human rights groups, lawyers and others, and comes amid growing controversy over his response to the coronavirus crisis.

Brandishing placards and flags, hundreds of people drove by motorcade to Sunday's rally, which was held outside army headquarters in the capital Brasilia.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has fired his health minister as the country grapples with the biggest outbreak of the coronavirus in Latin America.

Bolsonaro said Luiz Henrique Mandetta was leaving by mutual consent, but his departure follows weeks of acrimony between the two men over how to respond to the crisis.

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Medical professionals treating coronavirus patients in Venezuela say most hospitals lack a broad array of basic necessities, often including soap and running water.

Their warning comes amid concerns that the South American country could soon face a new humanitarian catastrophe because its health system is close to collapse and cannot cope with a surge of cases.

Right-wing groups in Brazil are summoning their supporters onto the streets to demand that their country returns to work, and ends mass lockdowns imposed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

This follows a highly controversial campaign against shutdowns by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who believes mass closures will cause more economic devastation and suffering than the virus itself.

There's been a furious reaction in Brazil after President Jair Bolsonaro demanded an end to lockdowns imposed in his country's biggest cities in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Having played down the virus for days as "exaggerated," the president doubled down Wednesday, labeling governors and mayors who have imposed restrictions as "criminals" who are "destroying Brazil."

Pressure is growing on Chile's government to take far stronger measures to tackle the coronavirus, after officials announced on Tuesday the number of cases has risen to 922 — an increase of more than 170 in just one day.

President Sebastian Piñera last week announced a "state of catastrophe," allowing him to deploy the military to safeguard Chile's critical infrastructure and supply lines. Borders are closed to nonresident foreigners, and a nighttime curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. began on Sunday.

The coronavirus is spreading with increasing speed across South America's largest nation, Brazil, prompting a senior government minister to warn that the health care system faces collapse.

The number of confirmed cases has surged by 283 in one day to 904, according to a bulletin released by the Health Ministry on Friday. The number of deaths has reached 11, it says.

This surge comes amid more warnings about the country's inadequate health system, including a huge shortage of intensive care beds and other equipment — a dilemma shared across the region.

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To Brazil now, where the government has been slow to acknowledge the coronavirus threat. NPR's Philip Reeves is confined to his bureau in Rio de Janeiro, but he can report that the sounds and the mood of the city are rapidly changing.

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For months now, Chileans have protested social inequality. These demonstrations are meant to change the country's politics. But as NPR's Philip Reeves reports, they've also changed one of the capital's great squares.

(CROSSTALK)

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Protests In Chile

Jan 11, 2020

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(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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Protesters are once again in the streets of Chile. What we heard were the scenes yesterday in Santiago. People there have been demonstrating against the government for months, venting anger over social inequality in Chile.

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