Volunteers spreading disinfectant in alleyways of squat

Residents of a Rio de Janeiro squat have taken sanitising their community into their own hands as they try to avoid the spread of the new coronavirus.

Wearing protective gear, young men roam spraying the alleyways of the "United we will win" squat where some 200 families live tightly packed together.

The families have to share three communal bathrooms, a kitchen and an area with basins where they wash their dishes and clothes.

Without any support from the government, the squatters survive on food donations, donated masks, kits with cleaning products and some disinfection equipment.

Residents of the squat say they are accustomed to precarious conditions, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, circumstances have worsened.

Most of the residents are children, who do not benefit from proper sewage or space to practice social distancing, leaving their parents worried.

"You don't have water all the time to wash your hands, we have to go there (to the shared area) and bring it. There is no place for them (children) to play," said mother-of-three Raissa Dandara.

While most of the squatters are scared of the new coronavirus, just a few of them wear masks.

Brazil has the world's second-highest number of victims and confirmed cases of coronavirus, with over 1.2 million infections and nearly 56,000 deaths.