The Parque Taruma cemetery during the coronavirus outbreak in Manaus, Brazil.
Blue, turquoise, and white crosses mark the dead in mass graves in Manaus, Brazil, a visual reminder of the toll the novel coronavirus has had on the country.
Brazil now has the second-most COVID-19 cases in the world, just behind the US.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which also forecasts the US death toll and has been used by the White House, has estimated that if no changes are enacted, 125,833 people in Brazil could die from the coronavirus by August 4.
As of Wednesday, the country had 25,598 reported deaths.
The same model projects that the US will reach 131,967 deaths by August 4. The US this week passed the grim milestone of 100,000 reported coronavirus deaths.
According to Reuters, the estimate was made with Brazil’s daily death toll approaching and at times surpassing that of the US. The IHME also called for lockdowns in the country, but President Jair Bolsonaro has refused.
“Brazil must follow the lead of Wuhan, China, as well as Italy, Spain, and New York by enforcing mandates and measures to gain control of a fast-moving epidemic and reduce transmission of the coronavirus,” IHME’s director, Christopher Murray, wrote.
He added that until Brazil imposed lockdowns, its daily death count could keep rising into mid-July. The country would by then also face a shortage of critical hospital resources.
Photos published by Reuters showed mass graves and burials across the country with the death toll continuing to rise.
Gravediggers during a mass burial of people who died of the novel coronavirus at the Parque Taruma cemetery in Manaus.
According to CNBC, while the US registered 620 deaths on Monday, Brazil had 807 deaths.
The US has put travel restrictions on Brazil as the virus spreads in the country.
An excavator at the Parque Taruma cemetery during a mass burial in Manaus on Tuesday.
Foreign nationals who were in Brazil within two weeks of trying to enter the US will not be allowed into the country. US citizens, legal permanent residents, and their family members are exempt from the ban.
Brazil surpassed Russia as the country with the second-most infections, right behind the US.
Graves at the Nova Cachoeirinha cemetery in Sao Paulo on Tuesday.
As of Wednesday, Brazil had close to 412,000 cases. Russia had a little more than 370,500, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The forecast in the country could shift based on policy changes.
A woman at a mass burial at the Parque Taruma cemetery in Manaus.
Last week, Brazil accounted for about 20% of new infections on the day the World Health Organization said was the highest single-day increase in new cases worldwide.
The Nova Cachoeirinha cemetery in Sao Paulo.
On May 20, Brazil had close to 20,000 cases, about a fifth of the 106,000 new global cases that WHO recorded over 24 hours, Business Insider previously reported.
Bolsonaro downplayed the outbreak from the start.
Miqueias Moreira Kokama wore a protective face mask that said “Indigenous lives matter” during a visit to his father’s grave.
According to Vox, Bolsonaro “continuously downplayed the seriousness of the virus, vocally opposed state governors’ decisions to impose lockdown measures, personally attended anti-lockdown protests, and pushed for businesses to reopen despite the growing outbreak.”
Some are worried the outbreak could “become a real genocide” for indigenous groups in the country.
Relatives at a mass burial of people at the Parque Taruma cemetery in Manaus on Tuesday.
Business Insider previously reported that the death rate among Brazil’s indigenous people reached 12.6%, with 125 deaths out of the 980 confirmed coronavirus cases in those communities. The death rate in the rest of the country is 6.5%.
Healthcare workers in Brazil don’t have the necessary tools to protect themselves and to treat coronavirus patients.
Gravediggers working at a mass burial of people at the Parque Taruma cemetery.
The Wall Street Journal reported that at least 116 nurses had died in Brazil. Nurses and other healthcare workers in the country often must use “aging equipment and lack enough face shields, goggles, gloves, and gowns to battle a highly contagious disease.”
Bolsonaro has largely remained dismissive of the outbreak.
Relatives at a mass burial.
On April 28, when Bolsonaro was asked about the then-record daily death toll of 474, he replied, “So what?” according to The Guardian.
“I’m sorry. What do you want me to do?” he continued.
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