Brazil has recorded more than 330,000 deaths from Covid, second only to the United States, and experts warn that the current surge in cases may not peak for weeks.
The rapid spread of coronavirus mutants, first discovered in Brazil, is a major source of concern around the world.
President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently downplayed the severity of the virus, but has focused on national vaccination campaigns that critics say is too late.
What does Bolsonaro say about Covid?
The president was very skeptical about the need to take decisive action to tackle the pandemic:
He calls Covid “a little flu”
He refused a national blockade, saying that such measures only made the poor poorer.
Called the governor and mayor who imposed the blockade “despot”
He questioned the effectiveness and safety of jabs and said he would not be vaccinated.
Pfizer Jab joked that it might “turn people into crocodiles”
Rejected the opportunity to buy millions of vaccines
I told people to “stop whining” about the situation
Although he continues to oppose the blockade, his government is now increasing its willingness to vaccinate a population of more than 200 million countries.
So how does Brazil’s record compare to other Latin America and the world?
1 in 4 dead in the world
Brazil has by far the highest overall death toll in Latin America.
In recent weeks, it has accounted for about a quarter of Covid’s deaths reported worldwide.
Although it lags behind Peru and Mexico in terms of its share of the total population, Brazil’s daily death toll is skyrocketing.
The death toll in March is twice that of any other pandemic month and continues to rise. Because more contagious variants promote infection.
Recent quotes from the University of Washington A total of more than 500,000 people are expected to die in Brazil by July.
Regional leaders say mixed messaging and resistance to blockades at the national level made it more difficult to enforce local restrictions.
Hospital intensive care units in many states across the country are full or near capacity.
Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, a Brazilian professor of neuroscience at Duke University, told the BBC:
“A large amount of vaccine can at least alleviate the situation.”
Brazil has a strong record in conducting vaccination campaigns and has a well-established medical infrastructure compared to many other countries in Latin America.
However, its coronavirus vaccination efforts lag behind those of Chile and Uruguay, which are the leaders in the region.
Public confidence in Brazilian vaccines It’s one of the most expensive in the world, but supply is lagging.
Brazilian microbiologist Natalia Pasternak said:
By the end of March, only about half of the goal of 46 million vaccinations had been achieved.
Brazil is currently ordering enough doses to vaccinate the entire population, but critics say these agreements were too late as other powers with similar purchasing power were in the queue. say.
In August, the Brazilian government declined an offer from Pfizer to purchase up to 70 million doses of vaccine.
I recently ordered 100 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, but most of these will not arrive until later this year.
The government also ordered 100 million doses of vaccine manufactured by Chinese company Sinovac. Despite President Bolsonaro’s criticism of it in the past..
In November, he said the discontinuation of the vaccine trial in Brazil was “another victory for Jair Bolsonaro.”
Brazil produces the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine domestically, which the government says will eventually provide millions of jabs, Lack of active ingredient What is needed to make a vaccine means that the initial production in the Brazilian laboratory is limited.
Dangers posed by Brazilian variants
The Brazilian Institute for Public Health, Fiocruz, states that it has detected 92 coronaviruses in the country.
In particular, the P.1 mutant is considered to be much more contagious than the original strain, causing concern. Spread throughout Latin America And the world.
Scientists believe that the current vaccine should still be effective against Brazilian variants, but it’s probably not so good, and different new variants may emerge again in the future.
Dr. Nicoleris said: “Brazil is not only the epicenter of the global pandemic, but also a threat to the entire international community’s efforts to control the pandemic. We are brewing new variants every week.”