Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll topped 450,000 on Tuesday as delays affect the country’s vaccine launch, and epidemiologists warned a further brutal rise in the virus could arrive.
He ministries of health reported 2,173 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official number of lives lost by the coronavirus in Brazil to 452,031, second only to the United States.
The situation has stabilized somewhat, with an average of 1,854 deaths per day from COVID-19 over the past week, below more than 3,000 in mid-April.
But the number of infections has steadily risen since early May, to an average of 66,000 a day over the past week, making epidemiologists fear death the toll is also about to start rising.
With 215 deaths from COVID-19 per 100,000 population, Brazil is the most affected country in the Americas and one of the most affected in the world.
Experts say the latest rise in infections is caused in part by the state and local authorities lifting pandemic restrictions a month ago, when the curve showed a slight decline.
The slow pace of vaccination does not help. About 20 percent of Brazil’s 212 million people have received a first dose of vaccine and 9.9 percent per second, still too few to significantly curb the virus.
In a worrying development, Brazil last week recorded the first cases of the so-called Indian variant in six crew members of a Hong Kong-flagged ship.
The World Health Organization has stated that this mutation is a “variant of concern,” like another that emerged in Brazil. It is feared that both are more dangerous than the original strain.
It has not been confirmed that the Indian variant is spread locally in Brazil.
But “I think it’s only a matter of time,” said researcher Margareth Dalcolmo of Fiocruz’s leading public health institute.
“The Indian variant is very hard to contain,” he told CNN.
The Brazilian Senate has opened an investigation into why the country COVID-19 number of victims it is so high, focusing on the unorthodox pandemic response of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro has controversially fought measures to stay home, turned down face masks, turned down vaccine offers, and promoted ineffective drugs like chloroquine.
© 2021 AFP
Citation: The number of deaths by COVID in Brazil exceeds 450,000 (2021, May 26) recovered on May 26, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-brazil-covid-death-toll-surpasses .html
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