Rio's iconic Copacabana beach eerily deserted after coronavirus closures

A regular weekend in Rio de Janeiro usually sees people soaking up the sun on the world-famous Copacabana beach.

However, this Sunday (March 22) the long stretch of sand was almost entirely empty as people heeded orders to shelter inside in an effort to stop the spread of the contagious coronavirus.

Police urged tourists and locals to go home as they patrolled the nearly vacant expanse of beach.

Rio's famed beaches were closed this past week after the first two deaths in the state lead Governor Wilson Witzel to urge people to stay indoors and to avoid gyms and beaches.

With the state of Rio de Janeiro announcing its third death on Saturday (March 21), the total across Brazil is at least 18, up from 11 confirmed on Friday (March 20).