Bolsonaro supporter knocks over symbolic COVID-19 'graveyard'

A supporter of Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has desecrated a beachside memorial to COVID-19 victims as the country’s coronavirus death toll rose above 40,000.

Let's take a look:

Represent lives lost

Brazilians critical of their government's ambiguous response to a surging coronavirus pandemic dug 100 symbolic shallow graves on Copacabana beach before dawn on Thursday to represent the Brazilian lives lost.

(Photograph:AFP)

Dug overnight

The graves were dug overnight on the beach opposite the ritzy Copacabana Hotel in a protest mounted by non-governmental organization Rio de Paz.

(Photograph:AFP)

Major epicenter

Brazil has become a major epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with 39,680 deaths and over 770,000 confirmed cases as of Wednesday, the world's worst outbreak after the United States.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Downplayed

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the gravity of the pandemic and pushed local governments to lift quarantine measures, sending contradictory signals to Brazilians on whether to use masks and practise social distancing.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Knocked over

An angry supporter of Brazil’s president destroyed the beachside memorial to COVID-19 victims knocked over the crosses in front of the graves.

The fallen crosses were later picked up by another man whose 25-year-old son died of coronavirus.

(Photograph:AFP)