The country borders on 900 deaths in a day and more than 179,000 infections are exceeded in total, while experts warn that the measures are “insufficient” and the worst is yet to come.
The coronavirus curve accelerates strongly in Brazil. In one week, the country went from counting an average of 400 deaths each day to almost 900. On Tuesday, 881 deaths were registered in 24 hours, the record so far, and the total number of deaths by Covid-19 already exceeds 12,400. The infections also increased considerably, reaching 179,000. Brazil has already surpassed France in the world ranking and became the sixth country in the world with the most confirmed cases of Covid-19. Specialists believe that in the coming days it will only climb positions.
“It is evident that the measures taken so far were insufficient to reduce the speed of transmission of the virus, and this has a direct impact on the healthcare network. In recent days, only in the state of Rio de Janeiro do we have a measure between 350 and 400 people a day in line waiting for an ICU bed. We are collapsing, “explains Rivaldo Venâncio, coordinator of the laboratories of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), a reference center for contagious diseases in Brazil .
Fiocruz and other health institutions have been asking for days to tighten social isolation measures. At the moment, only three capitals (Fortaleza, São Luís and Belém do Pará) decreed the total closure of economic activity. The most affected states, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, which together have more than 66,000 cases, are reluctant to apply confinement. In these regions, capital hospitals are already full and Covid-19 patients are redistributed by inland cities.
Authorities are confident that the field hospitals to be opened in the coming days and the respirators arriving from China will function like an oxygen balloon, while imploring, with little success, that people stay home. The situation of lack of control contrasts with that of neighboring countries, increasingly concerned with the possibility that the chaos in Brazil will cross borders. In Argentina, where serious restrictions were put in place from the beginning, there are only 319 deaths. Brazil, with 210 million inhabitants, has a population almost five times greater than Argentina, but the number of deaths is not five times greater, but 38.
For specialists, restrictions in Brazil need to be accompanied by more robust social aid. “This is not Germany or England. For confinement to work here, there must be social protection measures and income distribution. Millions of people work during the day to eat at night, they will only be at home if the State gives them food security conditions “says Venâncio. At the moment, the Government of Jair Bolsonaro gives aid of 600 reais a month (108 dollars) to informal workers, but there are great bureaucratic difficulties to collect it.
CRUSADE AGAINST GOVERNORS AND MAYORS
The president, meanwhile, continues his crusade against the governors and mayors who are imposing, as they can, the restrictions. This week, it released a new decree that defines gyms and beauty centers as “essential activities” that can open during the pandemic. Most of the governors responded by saying that they would ignore the decision. Health Minister Nelson Teich found out when a journalist asked him about the issue at a press conference. On the day that Brazil exceeded 10,000 deaths, Bolsonaro went for a jet ski ride on Lake Brasilia, and a few days earlier he provoked the press saying that he intended to “commit a crime” and organize a barbecue for 30 people in his official residence.
Bolsonaro and the government leadership are more focused these days on the political crisis unleashed after the departure of former Justice Minister Sérgio Moro. Several ministers testified before the police in the investigation that seeks to clarify whether the far-right leader tried to interfere with the independence of the Federal Police. In the coming days, a video of a meeting of the council of ministers in which Bolsonaro allegedly says that he wanted to change the police officers because his family was being persecuted (his children, especially Senator Flávio Bolsonaro, They face several corruption and money laundering scandals.)