Apr 08, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Brazil, Guyana’s neighbour to the South, broke its COVID-19 death toll record, yet again, when it recorded over 4,000 deaths in just 24 hours on Tuesday. Data released by its Ministry of Health showed 4,195 new deaths recorded. The country is ranked second globally as it relates to COVID-19 deaths, with the United States of America (USA) at first place.
The last death toll record broken by Brazil was on March 23, when it recorded 3,251 fatalities.
The surge in cases and deaths, which is suspected to be as a result of the aggressively circulating “P.1”/Brazilian variant, has left the country’s health system extremely overwhelmed with hospitals nearing their breaking point. With the new deaths recorded on Tuesday, the country’s death toll was pushed to 337,000.
It was reported by Reuters that with Brazil’s healthcare system now at a breaking point, it could exceed the USA’s death toll of 555,000. This is despite Brazil having a population that is two-thirds of the United States, according to two experts that spoke to Reuters.
One of the experts, Miguel Nicolelis, a Brazilian doctor and professor at Duke University, who is closely tracking the virus, said, “It’s a nuclear reactor that has set off a chain reaction and (it) is out of control. It’s a biological Fukushima.” Fukushima is a reference to a nuclear power plant disaster that occurred in Fukushima, Japan.
Despite the alarming death rate in Brazil, its President Jair Bolsonaro has ignored worldwide criticism for his handling of the pandemic. He has been labelled as “genocidal” since he has opposed certain public health protection measures such as the wearing of face masks and stringent lockdowns.
Six states had previously reported worrying levels of medical oxygen supplies. Also reported was the President, on March 23, the very day in which the record-breaking 3,000 cases were reported, saying that, “very soon we’ll resume our normal lives.”
On that day he also swore in cardiologist Marcelo Queiroga as the fourth health minister since the pandemic began.
At one point, Brazil’s authorities were urged to foster a national response which was expected to result in the closure of non-essential businesses in all but two states for 14 days, but President Bolsonaro was of the firm conviction that “the collateral damage to the economy brought by restrictions would be worse than the effects of the virus itself.”
Additionally, he had attempted to stop local authorities from imposing the protective measures, but that was halted by the Supreme Court.
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