Hospitals, morgues and cemeteries across Brazil are being overwhelmed by coronavirus cases as Latin America’s largest nation veers closer to becoming one of the world’s pandemic hot spots.
- Brazil has officially reported 53,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 3,600 deaths
- Some Brazilian scientists estimate there could already be more than one million cases
- Rio de Janeiro is erecting several field hospitals to cope with the outbreak, including in the Maracana football stadium
Medical officials in Rio de Janeiro and at least four other major cities have warned that their hospital systems are on the verge of collapse, or already too overwhelmed to take any more patients.
Health experts expect the number of infections in the country of 211 million people will be much higher than what has been reported because of insufficient, delayed testing.
Meanwhile, President Jair Bolsonaro has shown no sign of wavering from his insistence that COVID-19 is a relatively minor disease and that broad social-distancing measures are not needed to stop it.