Coronavirus Bodies Stashed In Bin Bags Next To Patients As Crisis In Brazil Deepens

Bodies of coronavirus victims are being stashed in bin bags next to patients as the Covid-19 crisis continues to worsen in Brazil.

Earlier this year, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro described coronavirus as “a little flu” but the South American country now has the second worst death toll in the world.

Brazil has recorded more than 50,000 deaths from the disease, with the death toll feared to be even higher.

And with more than one million confirmed cases of Covid-19, Brazil is the second-worst affected country from the virus, behind only the US.

And with no social distancing and little lockdown measures in place, it is feared that the death toll will continue to grow substantially.

Locals continue to swarm Brazilian beaches with more than 50,000 gathering in just one day, many of whom were not wearing face masks or undertaking any social distancing.

Coronavirus is having a particularly devastating impact on Brazil’s nurses, who are said to be affected worse than in any other country.

Doctors and nurses sleep in corridors at a hospital in Brazil (Image: CNN)
More nurses are thought to have died in Brazil, at least 181, than anywhere else in the world, according to the International Council of Nurses (ICN).

In May, more than 15,000 nurses in the country were reported to have contracted Covid-19, with that number likely to have risen dramatically since then as the death toll continues to grow.

Around half of the deaths among nurses in Brazil have been reported in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, the two worst-affected areas in the country.

Walquirio Almeida, a spokesman for Brazil’s Federal Council of Nursing (COFEN), put the worrying number of deaths among nurses down to the lack of equipment and preparation of medical teams.

Nurse Libia Bellusci says sick people are being left to die in hospital (Image: CNN)
“The numbers are very worrying, we did not expect this many,” he said. “The situation will only improve if authorities take effective measures, and quick.”

In Rio, nearly 9,000 people have died from Covid-19 with nearly 100,000 infected in the state.

A worrying video from the Rio Nurses Union shows the state of hospitals in the area, with doctors seen sleeping in corridors and bodies covered in bin bags in wards where people are recovering from the virus.

Another picture shows three large containers placed outside the hospital – they each hold 75 bodies.

The pandemic is understood to have claimed the lives of 40 nurses and 30 doctors in the state of Rio alone.

A nurse leader said sick people in one hospital are being “left to die”.

A coffin is wheeled out of the morgue at Ronaldo Gazolla Municipal Hospital in Rio de Janeiro (Image: CNN)
Libia Bellusci lost one of her colleagues, Daniele Costa, to coronavirus, and she has also contracted the disease herself.

She claims she was only tested because of a privately funded program, and is now back at work.

Describing the scene at Ronaldo Gazolla Municipal hospital, where she works, Bellusci told CNN : “The units are full.

“In others there are empty beds, but there aren’t enough ventilators. There’s also a shortage of health workers, because many got infected.

“They are putting sick people to die. The municipalities, state and federal government are throwing people to death. There’s no other explanation.”

The worrying rise in the number of medical staff in Brazil from coronavirus has led to many other speaking out over their fears for their safety while working in hospitals.

Thousands gather on beaches in Rio despite the coronavirus pandemic (Image: Ellan Lustosa/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock)
Nurses protested in the country’s capital Brasilia last month to mourn the lives of their colleagues.

During the vigil, the nurses lit candles and laid crosses in memory of those who died from Covid-19.

Other demonstrations held by nurses turned sour after some were met by radical supporters of president Bolsonaro.

Containers outside a Brazilian hospital contain 75 bodies each (Image: CNN)
Ana Catarine Carneiro, a nurse, told the Guardian that the protesters “called us every name you can imagine – things that didn’t even make sense”.

Nurses say they have had little training on how to use PPE or have inadequte supplies.

Walkirio Almeida from COFEN, told CGTN Digital: “We have detected some supply problems. Some hospitals don’t have the recommended equipment, and to try and minimise the risks, they created improvised versions, for example, plastic rain covers instead of impermeable aprons.

“Other hospitals are rationing, so nurses and nursing technicians use the same equipment for several days in different shifts, contradicting the norms and even the manufacturers’ orientations.”

Coronavirus is just “a little flu”

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro (Image: Getty Images)
Civil unrest continues in Brazil over the pandemic, with Bolsonaro repeatedly playing down coronavirus, once describing it as “a little flu”, before later acknowledging the disease, saying “people will die”.

Bolsonaro’s handling of the crisis has come under heavy criticism.

The country still has had no permanent health minister after losing two since April, following clashes with the president, who is sometimes called the “Tropical Trump”.

Bolsonaro has shunned social distancing, calling it a ‘job-killing’ measure more dangerous than the virus itself.

He has also promoted two anti-malarial drugs as remedies, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, despite little evidence they work.

The far-right former army captain’s handling of the crisis has prompted Brazilians to bang pots and pans regularly outside their apartments in protest, but it has not stopped him from wading into costly political battles with his own cabinet and the Supreme Court, stoking fears of instability.

Jair Bolsonaro has been criticised over his handling of the pandemic (Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Pressure from Bolsonaro and public fatigue after months of ineffective state and local isolation orders has led governors and mayors to begin lifting restrictions on commerce and other economic activity.

His handling of the pandemic has led to worldwide criticism. Former Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn said Britain should ‘speak up against him’.

He told inews: “We must stand up to the likes of Trump and Bolsonaro on the key matters of our time.”

Mr Corbyn previously tweeted: “Like Trump, he refused to put people and their health first. Now Brazil has the 2nd most cases in the world. Solidarity with the people of Brazil in their struggle against him.”

Pressure from Bolsonaro and public fatigue after months of ineffective state and local isolation orders has led governors and mayors to begin lifting restrictions on commerce and other economic activity.

Mass graves

Chilling images emerged of mass graves earlier this month illustrating the true extent of the coronavirus crisis in Brazil.

It is speculated that some victims may not feature in the figures because they were not tested after they died.

One anonymous grave digger told  FT.com : “We have been burying a lot. Many arrive here before getting the test results.”

But, as the death toll continued to rise, the country was forced to dig up bodies from graves to make room for more coronavirus victims.

Tracking the spread of coronavirus

This map shows the latest situation according to the World Health Organization and the UK’s health bodies. Use the slider to see data from a certain date, or press play to see how the virus has spread weekly.

The municipal funeral service in Sao Paulo said the remains of those who died at least three years ago will be exhumed to make more space for Covid-19 victims.

Grave workers will collect the bones, which will be put in numbered bags and then put in storage before being delivered to cemeteries within in the next 15 days.

A grave digger at the Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paolo said workers at the site, which is biggest in Latin America, said they are worried as lockdown continues to be eased.

The cemetery has said 1,654 people were buried at the site in April, 500 more than March.

Experts meanwhile warn lifting lockdown too soon could lead to a second wave.

“We think that there will be a new wave after the loosening of these measures,” said Ricardo Langer, a doctor treating COVID-19 patients at the Maracana stadium field hospital in Rio de Janeiro.

Latin America now consistently reports more daily cases than the US and Europe.

Experts say the peak of the epidemic in some Latin American countries is still some weeks away.

Source: peace

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