More than a thousand people have been buried during the last week in Manaus, the city of the Brazilian Amazon collapsed by the pandemic, where the dead begin to grow in homes, while families line up to get a certificate that allows them to be buried .
To help cope with the situation, a team of necrology and pathology technicians visit homes where deaths from COVID symptoms have been recorded daily at any point in the city to expedite the death certificate.
The day before, Manaus registered a new record of 213 burials -eight per hour- of which 102 died from COVID, a virus that has overwhelmed hospitals, patients dying from lack of oxygen and health professionals dedicated to the body and soul to save lives.
The absence in hospitals has forced the sick to remain at home, where the lack of specialized treatment hastens their death.
From Friday afternoon until this Saturday, families with patients at home stood in line, in front of a private oxygen supply company, waiting for the product.
The situation has triggered deaths in homes in Manaus and just this week, the number of deaths from suspected COVID in their homes increased by 130%.
“This week there was a very large increase in deaths in homes. What was done in a whole month, now is done in a week,” he assured Efe Arlindo França, director of the Center for the Issuance of Death Certificates (Cedo, for its acronym in Portuguese) of the Municipal Secretariat of Health.
Although the deaths are registered throughout the city, a good part of the cases occur within families with limited resources, who live in precarious conditions and who only have the public health system, which they cannot access due to the crisis.
The situation is complicated at nights where, according to França, the highest number of deaths occurs, especially in the early hours of the morning.
“Our service only works from 08:00 to 18:00, and due to the collapse, funeral homes are no longer collecting bodies at home to manage the death certificate in hospitals,” he explained.
The day before, in a period of 10 hours, 23 families were cared for by the team, which with the issuance of the document were able to bury their dead.
During the service, the technicians, wearing masks and maintaining the distances required to prevent contagion, corroborated with the families the data of the victims and the symptoms they registered before they died, as they were able to verify Efe.
They also verified that the bodies had no vital signs and took the samples to carry out the tests that will later confirm whether or not they died from the covid.
At the end of the examinations, the technicians delivered the death certificate and the dead remained in the houses waiting to be collected by the funeral homes, a service that they are only providing if the families have the certificate and only during daylight hours, since Due to the collapse, starting at 19:00 the city enters a curfew for eleven hours.
A bad week
Between Monday and Friday, more than a thousand dead were buried in Manaus.
Like hospitals, cemeteries cannot keep up and the lines of hearse at their entrances further mourn the panorama of chaos that surrounds the city.
Just yesterday the city registered a new record of 213 burials, but on Thursday there were 186, Wednesday 198, Tuesday 166 and Monday 150.
Of all of them, almost half died of COVID, others are awaiting confirmation and a third group died for other reasons, due to the lack of assistance in health centers, some of which have even closed their doors.
In all, more than 400 people are currently waiting for a bed in a hospital.
Manaus, being the capital of Amazonas and the largest city in the region, with 2.2 million inhabitants, concentrates most of the COVID victims in the state, which already accumulates more than 6,000 dead and 226,000 infected. (I)