The mayor of the city, located on the banks of the Amazon river in Brazil, has pleaded environmental activist Greta Thunberg for help as Covid-19 victims pile up in mass graves. Manaus has reported 3,941 confirmed cases and 357 deaths as of Friday.
The hike in number of infections has left hospitals and emergency services overwhelmed as well as a concerning lack of capacity in local cemeteries.
Covid-19 victims’ bodies have been put in mass graves and mechanical diggers were used to cover the corpses with earth.
Mayor of Manaus Arthur Virgílio Neto said in a video posted on Saturday: “My very dear Greta Ernman Thunberg… I’m telling you that we are needing help.
“We have to save the lives of the protectors of the forest. We are in front of a disaster, something like barbarism.”
The environmental campaigner has not directly responded to the plea.
However, she retweeted a post by Greenpeace warning that indigenous Amazon people were at a high-risk of the virus.
The Swedish activist called it “completely unacceptable”.
In the video, which starts with the message: “SOS Manaus-AM, Save the Protectors”, Mr Neto is seen sitting at his desk, speaking in English.
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The northwestern city has about two million residents, thousands of whom are indigenous people original from the Amazon jungle.
During April, 2,435 deaths were recorded at the Manaus’ public cemeteries, almost double the 2019 tally.
Of that figure it is unknown exactly how many of them are coronavirus-related, but the Covid-19 death toll is estimated to be in the hundreds.
In Brazil more than 6,700 people have died of the disease according to official data obtained by Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the pandemic.
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There were 4,970 new infections and 421 deaths over the previous 24 hours, the health ministry said on Saturday.
In total, the nation has now reported more than 95,000 confirmed cases and 6,750 fatalities.
New cases increased roughly 5.4 percent on Saturday from the previous day, while deaths went up by roughly 6.7 percent.
It comes after inmates in one of the city’s penitentiaries took seven guards hostage briefly on Saturday.
According to officials ten guards and five prisoners sustained minos injuries during the incident.
Relatives claimed the prisoners were protesting poor living conditions and that inmates also feared contracting coronavirus.
Two other jails in the same state have reported coronavirus infections, local prison authorities reported.
Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsanaro, has classes the disease as “a little flu” and refuses to wear a mask or practice social distancing.
Asked recently about Brazil’s death figure being higher than China’s, he responded: “So what? I mourn [the deaths] but what do you want me to do?
“My name is Messias but I can’t work miracles.”
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