Heartbreaking images show Brazilian authorities digging up graveyards and removing the dead to make extra space for new bodies. The move comes as the country hits a record 330,000 deaths from coronavirus as the outbreak rampages out of control in Brazil. The sad pictures show workers rushing to bury the dead as grave space runs out across the country. This week Brazil overtook the US in the number of Covid deaths and cases.
Authorities are digging up graveyards to make space because cremation is very uncommon in Brazil.
This is due to the countries deep-rooted practice of Catholicism where the dead are buried in a casket.
Brazilian city Sao Paulo for instance has 22 graveyards but just one public crematorium.
Bodies of people with unconfirmed coronavirus are treated the same way as those with confirmed diagnoses where they are wrapped in plastic by gravediggers, there is no ceremony.
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Speaking for Global News in Brazil, reporter Crystal Goomansingh said the virus was spinning out of control in the South American country.
She said: “With hospitals running out of space for the sick and dying, the state of Sao Paolo for the third time this month announced additional beds.
“This week people in the country have experienced a record number of single-day deaths, Brazil has been ravaged by the pandemic with the second-highest death toll in the world.”
And governor of Sao Paulo João Doria said: “Today we don’t have any reason to celebrate – if anything it’s opposite.”
Earlier, José Miguel Bernucci, secretary of Chile’s National Medical Association, raised concerns over what was unfolding in Brazil and said he was very worried of the spread into other Latin American countries.
He said: “What is happening in Brazil is a global menace.
The medic said borders won’t help in the fight against the ravaging variant.
Mr Bernucci added: “Closing the borders won’t help us so much with the variants that we already have here, but with the new variants that can continue to be created.”
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Brazil’s Health Ministry reported an astonishing 3,769 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday narrowly missing a daily record for a third straight day.
But one gravedigger told Reuters Brazil: “The numbers in the newspapers are very wrong.
“The real number is twice as high, maybe triple.”
Brazil’s health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said on Wednesday coronavirus cases were likely underreported due to delays in testing.