Brazil COVID-19 Deaths Top 400,000 Amid Fears Of Worsening Crisis

 

Brazil surpassed 400,000 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, at the tail-end of the country’s deadliest month of the pandemic.

At last count, 401,186 people had died in Brazil, based on data tracked by Johns Hopkins University, a toll only the U.S. has topped.

More Brazilians have died from the virus in the first four months of this year than in all of 2020, with the death toll having jumped from 300,000 to 400,000 in the past five weeks alone.

The daily average of deaths has dipped recently, from over 3,000 two weeks ago to an average of less than 2,400 deaths, according to Brazil’s health ministry.

Yet health systems remain under intense pressure and — between the relaxation of COVID-19 measures, a sluggish vaccine rollout and the spread of a more contagious virus variant — experts predict the pandemic will soon get worse.

Less than 7% of Brazilians are fully vaccinated. A shortage of vaccine supplies has prevented some from getting their crucial second dose.

Brazilians are increasingly resisting social distancing as towns and cities ease restrictions, cheered on by President Jair Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro, who continues to attack COVID-19 restrictions, has been widely criticized for his handling of the health crisis. In a television interview on Friday, the president accused governors of using lockdowns to suppress the public’s right to freedom of movement and threatened to use military force to intervene.

 

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