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Brazil crosses grim milestone of 4,00,000 COVID-19 deaths

Only 7.2% Brazilians fully vaccinated so far; daily deaths likely to go above 2,000

HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/BRAZIL [File] Relatives gather around the coffin of a man who died of COVID-19 in Rio de Janeiro; daily death toll could remain high on account of the slow vaccination rate | Reuters

Brazil on Thursday surpassed 4,00,000 COVID-19 deaths. It has become the second country after the US to cross the grim milestone.

On Thursday, Brazil reported over 3,000 deaths due to the coronavirus. Experts have warned that the daily toll of the South American nation could remain high for several months to come on account of the slow vaccination rate.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who has had a lax attitude towards the virus, did not particularly impose many social restrictions; he also underplayed the virus and compared it to the flu. 

Infectious disease experts have also said that vaccines alone cannot be counted on to contain the virus. They added that the daily deaths are expected to be above 2,000 per day.

Only 7.2 per cent of Brazilians have been fully vaccinated so far.

Brazil’s cumulative death toll remains high despite India’s daily death toll surpassing that of Brazil’s. The cumulative death toll is said to have jumped from 3,00,000 to 4,00,000 in five weeks.

“Brazil will repeat the same mistake as last year,” epidemiologist Pedro Hallal, who led a national study on COVID-19 told Reuters.

“What will Brazil do now? Go back to easing restrictions and that will stabilise us at 2,000 deaths per day as if 2,000 deaths from a single disease in one day is normal,” he said.

The surge in cases is due to the P.1 coronavirus variant, which is known to be 2.5 times more contagious. Experts are blaming the death rate on Jair Bolsonaro’s government. The Brazilian Senate, earlier this week, launched an inquiry into the Jair Bolsonaro government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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