As cemeteries run out of space, World Health Organization experts warn multiple states in ‘critical condition’
The Brazilian city of São Paulo has sped up efforts to empty old graves to make room for a soaring number of Covid deaths as the sprawling metropolis registered record daily burials this week.
As the World Health Organization warned that the pandemic has put a number of Brazilian states in “critical condition”, gravediggers worked on Thursday to open the tombs of people buried years ago, bagging decomposed remains for removal to another location.
Relocating remains is standard in cemetery operations, said the municipal secretary responsible for funeral services. But it has taken on renewed urgency as Brazil suffers its worse coronavirus wave since the pandemic began over a year ago.
On Wednesday, Brazil’s health ministry registered its highest daily Covid death toll for the second day in a row, with 3,869 people succumbing to the virus.
Brazil’s outbreak is the second-deadliest in the world after the United States, averaging about 3,000 deaths and 75,500 new cases a day over the past week – a rate that has climbed steadily since February.