Brazil buries COVID dead at night as cemeteries struggle to keep up

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As Brazil breaks a new record of daily COVID-19 deaths, with 3,780 in 24 hours, cemeteries in the South American nation are holding funerals at night to accommodate all the burials.

In Sao Paulo, mourners gather under the cover of night to bid farewell to their loved ones as funeral workers in PPE clothing quickly and efficiently drop the coffins into holes that lie waiting for victims.

Coffin after coffin falls into place as sobs and wailing pierce the darkness.

Brazil currently accounts for about a quarter of COVID-19 daily deaths worldwide, more than any other country.

Infectious disease specialist Alexandre Naime Barbosa said the country needs to act quickly to turn the tide.

“(Brazil needs to) rapidly increase the speed of vaccination, primarily among the most vulnerable populations, to stamp out speech in favor of medicines that science do not say are effective against COVID-19 and lastly, improve vigilance and tracing of the variants that could have more aggressive biological behavior from the mutant strains of COVID-19 virus,” he said.

Since the pandemic began, 317,646 people have died in Brazil of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, March 30 and 12.7 million have been infected by Wednesday, March 31, according to data from the Our World in Data platform, linked to the University of Oxford. Of those deaths, 58,924 were in March alone.

Brazil’s vaccination efforts have been hampered by a lack of shots.

While Brazil hoped to have 46 million doses of the vaccine in March, it ended up receiving only 22 million.

Only 1.95 percent of the population is fully vaccinated and 6.69 percent have received at least one dose.

It is looking to get more doses and has recently asked the United States for a swap. The Latin American nation would get access to Pfizer doses faster and would return them with the doses it has ordered and is scheduled to receive later.

But all of that is too late for these grieving families in Sao Paulo, as Brazil struggles against the relentless tide of cases.

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