2021-10-10 01:13:07 Brazil’s Covid Death Toll Passes 600,000

Brazil’s Covid Death Toll Passes 600,000

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil surpassed the dreadful milestone of 600,000 Covid-19 deaths this week, placing it second only to the United States.

According to a consortium of major media companies that has been collecting data from local governments, the country’s official tally of fatalities reached 600,493 late Friday, more than a year and a half after the pandemic began in Brazil. According to a New York Times database, the United States has recorded 712,822 deaths.

According to experts, Brazil’s vaccination campaign appears to have slowed the spread of the coronavirus. It only took 36 days for the country to go from 300,000 to 400,000 deaths, and another 51 days for the disease to claim the next 100,000 victims, which occurred on June 19. The most recent 100,000 Covid-19 victims perished over the course of 111 days.

Natália Pasternak, president of the Brazilian nongovernmental organization Instituto Questo de Ciência, said the country was on track to control the pandemic if it continued to vaccinate people at the same rate.

“With the advancement of vaccination, we need to have a responsible optimism in the country,” Ms. Pasternak said in Portuguese. “This is due to a very good national immunization program that was established decades ago, as well as a population that is extremely favorable to the vaccine.”

Brazil’s conservative populist president, Jair Bolsonaro, has come under fire for his handling of the pandemic. He repeatedly downplayed the virus’s threat, railed against quarantine measures, refused to be vaccinated, and defended the use of ineffective treatments. His administration was also slow to secure access to coronavirus vaccines, despite the fact that Covid was overwhelming hospitals across the country.

Polls show that the majority of Brazilians are willing to be immunized against the virus. Despite the fact that the initial vaccination campaign was hampered earlier in the year by a lack of doses, health workers had managed to fully immunize 46 percent of Brazilians by Friday, according to data from the media consortium.

Earlier this month, the United States surpassed 700,000 Covid-19 deaths. Despite an ample supply of vaccines, the death toll rose over the summer as the highly contagious Delta variant spread. According to The New York Times database, Brazil, India, and Mexico rank second and third in terms of total deaths.

Because of delays and omissions, concerns have been raised about the quality of data released by the Brazilian government. However, since April 2020, the Consórcio de Veculos de Imprensa, a group of major media companies, has been collecting information from regional governments and releasing it daily.

With vaccination becoming more popular in Brazil, local governments have relaxed restrictions aimed at containing the virus, and social distancing rules are frequently flouted in many places. The pandemic appears to be over in some neighborhoods, such as Rio de Janeiro’s Sade district, where outdoor concerts are held on a regular basis.

Some public health experts, however, believe it is too soon to relax measures aimed at preventing the virus from spreading. “Brazil should not start releasing now, removing the restriction on the use of masks, giving people a false sense of security,” Ms. Pasternak said.

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Brazil’s Covid Death Toll Passes 600,000