A man's dead body was left to rot in the streets of Rio de Janeiro for 30 hours amid the surge of deaths relating to the coronavirus which has taken the lives of more than 20,000 people.
The family of the deceased, identified as Valnir da Silva, 62 years old, says the man was allegedly one of the cases of coronavirus that was not able to win. The pandemic has been roaring throughout the city's marginalized communities, resulting in the leaning of public services that are already stretched thin.
Left to rot
The corpse was found lodged between several parked cars and a small soccer pitch next to locals playing rounds of the game.
According to Dailymail, Brazil has become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in South America as it reaches an all-time high.
The government, however, eases its safety and health protocols amid the increasing cases to allow the use of an unproven drug to fight the coronavirus that is used to treat malaria.
The amount of cases is filling up intensive care units and spreading medical health workers thin as the death toll in Rio follow behind Sao Paulo.
A photojournalist of Reuters who was in Rio, Ricardo Moraes, was currently at a police station early Sunday when rumours of a corpse in the nearby favela of Arara caught his attention.
Silva's body was found by Moraes when he arrived on the scene around 7:00 a.m. on Sunday. He saw the man lying on the same spot that locals reported him dying at in the morning of Saturday, lodged between a row of parked cars and a small soccer pitch.
Silva's life was allegedly breaking down and soon lived on the streets after the death of his wife months before.
On Saturday, the man went to officials to report that he was unable to breathe and locals immediately called an ambulance to treat him but lost his life before it could arrive, as reported by Reuters.
Rumours that Silva died from the coronavirus spread around the residents, but there was no evidence to support the claim. The pandemic entered the city by the rich and wealthy citizens and has since infected the less fortunate communities.
At around 4:00 p.m. Saturday, the ambulance arrived, but they did not take the body. The death certificate that was seen by Reuters allegedly wrote that the cause of death was cardiac arrest and another, unknown reason.
The ambulance that was called to treat Silva said in a statement that it was not responsible for the removal of the corpse. No information was given if the body was tested for the coronavirus.
Marcos Vinicius Andrade da Silva, Silva's stepson, tried to locate another authority who could adequately take care of the body. He stated he spoke with patrolling police officers who contacted the 21st Civil Police station nearby, but nothing happened.
A civil police spokeswoman revealed that the removal of corpses by their department is only applied if it is related to criminal activities, and not health-related issues.
A funeral team finally arrived to take the body around 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, said the stepson, after spending the whole day on the phone trying to find anyone who could help him.
"We were very relieved that they had taken him away. But also very sad about what happened," he said.
Silva was buried on Monday with a ceremony that was attended by four people, which included his stepson along with the kid's mother.