The Drama of Peru's COVID Orphans

Jane Chambers - BBC News

In a tiny house on the outskirts of Lima, Gabriela Zarate lives with her husband and eight children. Four are her own. The other four, two girls aged seven and 15, and two boys aged nine and 12, are the children of her younger sister, Katherine.

It is hard to squeeze them all in. The boys sleep two to a bunk bed, with the girls sharing a tiny room at the back of the house. "It's always been a struggle to put food on the table for my family," Gabriela says, "and with four more children it's even more difficult".

In June 2020, when Peru was already struggling to contain COVID-19, Katherine got infected. Hospitals were overcrowded, supplies had run out and relatives watched their loved ones die, unable to help.