Brazil reports a record 4,000 deaths from covid in one day

(Bloomberg) – Brazil reported more than 4,000 daily deaths from covid-19 for the first time, as the pandemic continues to sweep across the vast nation.

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry recorded 4,195 deaths, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 336,947. It is the second highest tally globally, behind only the United States. In the last 24 hours, cases increased by 86,979, bringing the number of victims to 13.1 million.

“If Brazil maintains the current rate, by April the country will probably reach 5,000 deaths a day,” said Christovam Barcellos, a researcher at Fiocruz.

So far in 2021, the largest nation in Latin America has surpassed grim milestones, reaching almost daily record numbers of cases and deaths. The resurgence of the virus, fueled by lax social distancing measures and a new, more contagious variant, led the country to quickly surpass 200,000, then 300,000 deaths in just over two months, leaving hospitals overwhelmed.

In addition to the strain that originated in the Amazon city of Manaus and has spread rapidly since the New Year, authorities in Sao Paulo also detected a new variant of covid-19 in the city of Sorocaba, near the state capital. the local government said Wednesday. The new strain is said to be similar to the one found in South Africa and there is no evidence yet that the variant is circulating in other regions of the country.

Meanwhile, Brazilian authorities are trying to speed up the pace of vaccinations. As of Monday, the country had administered 25.4 million doses, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, enough to cover 9.4% of the population with a single vaccine. On Thursday, for the first time, the country vaccinated 1 million people in 24 hours.

Anvisa, the country’s health regulator, on Wednesday authorized the emergency use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, the fourth approved by the agency. Brazil bought 38 million doses of the booster, but these are not expected to arrive until the second half of the year.

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At a time when few vaccines are available, the only measure that could limit contagion is confinement, which would have to be accompanied by measures to help the most vulnerable, said public health expert Ana Freitas Ribeiro.

President Jair Bolsonaro, however, continues to oppose social distancing measures imposed by local governments. On Wednesday, the Health Minister and the head of the Senate emerged from the first meeting of the joint task force to monitor the response to the pandemic by promoting the importance of wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings during the Easter holidays. When it was his turn to speak, Bolsonaro repeated familiar phrases about returning life to normal and criticized the confinements.

Of the 27 states in Brazil, 18 have their intensive care units occupied by more than 90%, Fiocruz said in a report. The combination of increased transmission and overwhelmed hospitals has contributed to the continuing and growing number of deaths, according to the report.

Original Note: Brazil Hits 4,000 Daily Covid Deaths With Virus Running Rampant

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