Brazil surpasses 400,000 coronavirus deaths

One in three people in Brazil died from COVID-19
A grave of a COVID-19 victim with a Brazilian flag at the Nossa Senhora Aparecida cemetery in Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil, 29 April 2021.

AFP/MICHAEL DANTAS  -   A grave of a COVID-19 victim with a Brazilian flag at the Nossa Senhora Aparecida cemetery in Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil, 29 April 2021

Since the start of the pandemic, one in three people who died this year from the pandemic; data from the National Civil Registry showed that 615,329 deaths in the South American country between January 1 and April 30, 33.9%, were related to the coronavirus, representing 208,370 people so far this year. Last week, Brazil recorded more than 400,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the quarantine, the emergence of a new strain and poor institutional policies have landed Brazil in the top three countries with the most deaths, alongside the United States and India. 

Disregard for social distancing, poor territorial coordination between the central and regional governments, and the appearance of a new variant without sufficient follow-up are the reasons why the South American giant has not found the formula to combat the virus and improve the number of deaths.

Brasil, con una población de 212.000.000 de personas, superó las 400.000 muertes por COVID-19
AFP/MICHAEL DANTAS - Brazil, with a population of 212,000,000 people, exceeded 400,000 COVID-19 deaths.

This April, 78,000 people died from COVID-19, and from January to April of this year more people have died than in the whole of 2020. In just 36 days, 100,000 deaths were recorded and more than 14.6 million people have been infected since last year. Jair Bolsonaro has become the figure most criticised by the public opinion, during his administration irresponsibility has prevailed. At the beginning of the pandemic, he denied the usefulness of masks, recommended drugs that were not approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and opposed the isolation measures decreed by some regional leaders. It should be recalled that the Brazilian strain was born in Manaus at the beginning of the year, a region that felt neglected by the national government, as it did not take the urgent and necessary measures to prevent the spread of the new variant, which is now found in several regions of the world.

El número de estados brasileños con una capacidad de UCI superior al 90% se ha reducido con respecto a hace 17 meses, según datos del instituto estatal de investigación médica Fiocruz
AP/JEFFERSON BERNARDES - The number of Brazilian states with ICU capacity above 90% is down from 17 months ago, according to data from the state medical research institute Fiocruz.

"Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines will begin to be distributed by the Ministry of Health on Monday (3/5), following requests from states and municipalities for more time to organise the stockpiling of the immuniser. In total, 1 million doses were received last Thursday (29/4). In this shipment are 499,500 doses for the first application, distributed proportionally and equally among all states and the Federal District.

The doses for the second application will be distributed in the coming weeks," was the statement issued by the Ministry of Health. The vaccination campaign is really slow, the application of the vaccines is taking a very slow pace, it is because of the shortage of supplies, and the delay in reaching an agreement between the State and the pharmaceutical companies, only 10% of the population has been vaccinated.

Jair Bolsonaro, presidente de Brasil
REUTERS/ADRIANO MACHADO - Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil

President Jair Bolsonaro is being investigated by a special commission of the Brazilian Senate for his management during the pandemic, which could hinder his re-election plans for the presidential elections in 2022, if this results in "Impeachment ", being indicted on criminal charges. This Senate commission has the capacity to investigate and gather sufficient evidence for the opening of impeachment, which will also analyse the transfer of some federal funds to the country's municipalities, in order to supposedly "win the battle against COVID-19". The rapporteur of the commission, Senator Renan Calheiros, said culprits "who are to blame for the action, omission, disdain or incompetence" will be held accountable, which seems to have a clear objective, namely Bolsonaro's guilt-seeking. The Senate is currently divided, and the political responsibility of the president would have to be proven in order to change some votes within the legislative body. The committee is made up of the ruling party's Omar Aziz and the opposition's Randolfe Rodrigues and Renan Calheiros.

Latin America Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra.