Red roses mark Brazil's 500,000 COVID-19 deaths

Volunteers from Rio de Paz, a non-governmental organization, placed 500 red roses on pegs and unfurled victim's names embroidered on cloths.

"At the head of the republic, there is a president who violated all sanitary norms from the beginning of the pandemic. He underestimated the lethal power of the virus, participated in anti-democratic public demonstrations, stimulating the agglomeration," said Rio de Paz president Antonio Carlos Costa, who helped tie roses to stakes hammered into the beach.

Brazil's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 500,000 on Saturday (June 19) as experts warn that the world's second-deadliest outbreak may worsen due to delayed vaccinations and the government's refusal to back social distancing measures.