Brazil Digs Mass Graves as COVID-19 Death Toll Hits 21000

Coronavirus fatalities are rising astronomically in Brazil with the authorities  digging mass graves to bury victims.

With  21,116 deaths from coronavirus on Friday, Brazil was the world’s second worst affected country before Russia recorded 335,882 infections yesterday.

Brasilia has over 330,000 coronavirus infections, the third worst affected country in the world and the worst affected in South America.

It briefly overtook Russia as the world’s number two hotspot for Covid-19 before Moscow  recorded 335,882 infections yesterday morning.

Aerial video showed rows of open plots at the Formosa Cemetery in Brazil’s worst hit city Sao Paulo.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Emergencies Director Mike Ryan told a virtual news conference that South America is a new ‘epicentre’ for the disease.

“In a sense, South America has become a new epicentre for the disease. We have seen many South American countries with increasing numbers of cases,” Ryan said.

“Clearly there is a concern across many of those countries, but clearly the most affected is Brazil at this point.”

President Jair Bolsonaro has come under intense attack for his handling of the outbreak especially his opposition to social distancing measures, support of the unproven remedy chloroquine, and tussles with experienced public health officials.

Two health ministers have left since the outbreak of the virus  after pressuring them to promote the early use of anti-malarial drugs like chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Several high-profile public health experts have also left. Many have been replaced by soldiers.

Featured Image Credit: Cemetery workers in protective clothing carry the coffin of a COVID19 victim in Sao Paulo. Photo: AP



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