Back in April, Manaus — the biggest city in the Amazon basin — became Brazil’s textbook coronavirus worst-case scenario. With insufficient measures to control the outbreak, infection curves exploded — leading the city’s fragile healthcare network to a full-scale collapse. At one point, morgues were simply unable to handle the sheer amount of bodies showing up at their door, literally left to pile up. Cemeteries ran out of coffins and space, with corpses buried in mass graves known as “trenches.”
Months later, things seem to have improved significantly in Manaus. New daily deaths dropped from 56 during the pandemic’s peak to 3.9 as of September 29. The few social distancing rules in place were lifted, and in-person classes returned at schools around the state of Amazonas.