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Death and denial in Brazil's Covid hit Manaus

Silence on the streetsAFP
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Silence on the streets
As the white van approached Perfect Love Street, chatting neighbours fell silent, covered their mouths and noses and scattered.
Last breathReuters
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Last breath
Men in full body suits carried an empty coffin into the small, blue house where Edgar Silva had spent two feverish days gasping for air before drawing his last breath on May 12.
Dying at homeAFP
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Dying at home
“It wasn't COVID,” Silva's daughter, Eliete das Graças insisted to funerary workers. She swore her 83-year-old father had died of Alzheimer's disease, not that sickness ravaging the city's hospitals.

But Silva, like the vast majority of those dying at home, was never tested for the new coronavirus.
Cause of deathAFP
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Cause of death
The doctor who signed his death certificate never saw his body before determining the cause: “cardiorespiratory arrest.” His death was not counted as one of Brazil's victims of the pandemic.
Vast undercountAFP
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Vast undercount
Manaus is one of the hardest hit cities in Brazil, which officially has lost more than 23,000 lives to the new coronavirus. But in the absence of evidence proving otherwise, relatives are quick to deny the possibility that COVID-19 claimed their loved ones, meaning that the toll is likely a vast undercount.
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