Harrowing footage from a Brazilian city hit by the Coronavirus pandemic shows mass graves being dug as authorities struggle with the pandemic.
Manaus, in north-western Brazil, with a population of 1.7m, is continuing to bury bodies at an alarming rate as deaths surge due to the pandemic.
A cemetery in the city has seen a 500 per cent increase in the number of bodies it has to bury now compared with before the Covid-19 outbreak.
Aerial footage of the cemetery shows the scale of burials taking place in the region. Coffins arrive wrapped in plastic film to help stop the spread of the disease.
The surge of Covid-19 cases in Brazil is spawning fear that construction workers, truck drivers and tourists from Latin America’s biggest nation will spread the disease to neighbouring countries that are doing a better job of controlling the coronavirus.
The country’s borders remain open, there are virtually no quarantines or curfews and President Jair Bolsonaro continues to scoff at the seriousness of the disease.
When questioned about the number of Coronavirus victims in the country, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, said he “doesn’t do miracles”.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked. “I am Messias (his full name is Jair Messias Bolsonaro), but I don’t do miracles.”
There have been at least 79,361 confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil, with 5,511 deaths.
Earlier this week, it was reported cases of Covid-19 are overwhelming hospitals, morgues and cemeteries across Brazil as the country veers closer to becoming one of the world’s pandemic hot spots.
At the main Taruma cemetery, a new area has been opened where undertakers were digging rows of graves and now just trenches for five coffins at a time.
The Taruma mayor’s office said the city’s funeral system was collapsing and running out of coffins.
In Rio de Janeiro, cemeteries have accelerated construction of above-ground vaults to entomb deceased patients.
Undertakers in Manaus even resorted to burying coffins one on top of the other this week, but the city stopped the practice after grieving relatives protested.