efe-epaNiteroi, Brazil

At a time of reduced physical contact due to the pandemic, a hospital outside the Brazilian metropolis of Rio de Janeiro with no Covid-19 patients has launched a "hug hour" initiative to safely allow patients and family members to show their mutual affection.

On scheduled turns, patients, visiting family members and even employees at Placi hospital in this Rio suburb can share a cathartic embrace and leave aside some of the loneliness brought about by their mandatory, coronavirus-triggered isolation.