Brazil struggles amid second wave with cemeteries, ICUs at breaking point

By Carlos Meneses Sanchez

São Paulo, Mar 12 (efe-epa).- Hospitals and cemeteries in Brazil, which marked one year since it recorded its first death from Covid-19 on Friday, are close to overflowing as the country grapples with a major surge of coronavirus infections.

Brazil is the second worst affected country overall in the world by Covid-19, and is currently home to the highest infection rate and daily number of deaths.

As the contagion stabilizes across the world, Brazil is one of the few nations where the virus is rampant and out of control.

In the last two days, it has reported more than 2,000 deaths per day, while deaths from Covid in Brazil account for 10% of the global total.

In São Paulo’s Vila Formosa, the largest cemetery in Latin America, history is repeating itself: one burial after another, just as in the first wave.

The gravediggers are worn out, utterly exhausted. Their workload doubled in 2020 and in 2021 it shows no signs of slowing down.

“We thought it was going to stabilize this year but so far it hasn’t,” James Alan, 35, a coordinator in Vila Formosa, tells Efe.

Shovels in hand, they dig between 60 to 66 graves a day.

Dressed in white plastic overalls, Pedro, 55, and his team have barely a few seconds of rest between the endless stream of coffins. It’s a mammoth effort, and leaves hardly any time for family farewells or eulogies.

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