TEGUCIGALPA, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- A week after tropical storm Iota whipped through Honduras, hundreds of communities remain flooded and continued rains have made it impossible to begin recovery efforts, especially in the northern Sula Valley, local authorities said Tuesday.
A total of 73,301 people are staying in 822 shelters and depend on government relief nationwide.
The hard-hit Sula Valley was flooded for the fourth time on Monday, leading to scenes of displaced families seeking shelter under bridges or in makeshift roadside tents.
The valley's Ramon Villeda Morales International Airport is still inundated and, according to civil aviation authorities, could remain shuttered until Dec. 15.
In the meantime, people taking refuge at shelters face increased risk of contracting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The president of the Association of Doctors of the Honduran Social Security Institute, Carlos Umana, said the positivity rate at shelters is running at 33 percent due to overcrowding.
Honduras has to date reported 105,211 cases of COVID-19 and 2,869 deaths from the disease.