Brazil hits 500,000 Covid-19 deaths amid ‘critical’ situation

Brazil hits 500,000 deaths amid 'critical' situation
The virus continues to spread in Brazil amid a lack of co-ordinated measures. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The number of Covid-19 deaths has passed 500,000 in Brazil, the second-highest in the world, as health experts say the coronavirus outbreak could worsen amid slow vaccination and the start of winter.

The virus continues to spread as Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro refuses to back measures like social distancing.

The health institute Fiocruz says the coronavirus situation in the country is “critical.” Only 15% of adults are fully vaccinated.

Congress is investigating the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

President Bolsonaro has been heavily criticised in home and abroad for not implementing a co-ordinated national response and for his scepticism toward vaccines, mask-wearing requirements and lockdowns, which he has sought to loosen.

The opposition accuses Mr Bolsonaro of delaying the purchase of vaccines for political reasons, as he has consistently played down the severity of the pandemic.

The Covid-19 deaths and outbreak in the country has been fuelled by more transmissible variants of the virus, including the one first identified in the Amazon region and now known as Gamma. In the last week, an average of 70,000 cases has been confirmed daily.

The rate of occupancy of intensive care unit beds remains at or above 80% in most states in Brazil, and experts warn the start of winter in the southern hemisphere, next week, could result in more infections.

Fiocruz said: “Brazil faces a critical scenario of community transmission… with the possibility of worsening in the coming weeks due to the start of winter.”

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