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Brazil passes 500,000 Covid-19 deaths; second most affected country

A country of 200 million people is now the second-highest for covid deaths. It is being called a “genocide” with fingers pointed at one man. Plenty of countries have suffered through brutal waves of Covid-19.

There was Italy’s initial wave in April last year, which woke the world up to the deadly power of coronavirus; the UK’s daily peak of 1200 cases in January, which showed covid wasn’t quietly going away; and India’s crisis in May which dashed hopes the nation may have miraculously dodged the covid bullet.

However, one major nation hasn’t so much had to battle through debilitating covid waves; instead, through a constant stream of virus cases and vast numbers of deaths for more than a year.

Brazil has now passed the grim milestone of half a million deaths linked to Covid-19. Only the US has had more. And that’s before the more transmissible Delta variant has reached Brazil’s shores.

“In June of last year, we reached 50,000 deaths for Covid-19. In just one year, we have multiplied this number 10 times. It’s terrifying,” Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis told CNN.

Some virus watchers have said Brazil could reach 800,000 deaths before its lackluster vaccination program begins to have an effect.

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One-third of all covid deaths in Brazil

On Saturday, thousands of protesters marched in Brazil’s major cities against president Jair Bolsonaro. They blame Mr. Bolsonaro for downplaying the seriousness of the virus (which he derided as a “little flu”), his questioning the usefulness of masks, mishandling the purchase of vaccines, and instead focusing, at least for a time, on unproven drugs such as hydroxychloroquine.

Many are flabbergasted the government offered to host the Copa America football tournament, being played now, after other nations pulled out due to the pandemic in their own countries.

A recent analysis said three out of four covid deaths in Brazil were preventable. A former president has likened the disaster to a “genocide”.

Sobering statistics

On Saturday, the country’s health ministry said 500,800 people had died due to covid during the pandemic.

Other statistics coming out of the sprawling Latin American country of 200 million are just as sobering. Last week, one-third of all the world’s covid deaths were in Brazil. According to the Worldmeters covid tracking website, Brazil is currently recording 9.35 covid deaths per million people. In virus ravaged India, the figure is 2.71 deaths per million; in Britain – where about half the population is fully vaccinated – the rate is just 0.14. Approaching 10 percent of all Brazilians, 17.8 million people, have caught covid. Around 72,000 Brazilian are contracting covid every day. There has barely been a day in the last year when fewer than 20,000 new cases were recorded. Since March 2021, around 60,000 Brazilians have become infected every 24 hours.

Covid related illnesses have led to around 2000 Brazilians perishing per day over the last two months. In the major cities, 80 percent of hospital beds in intensive care units are taken by covid patients.

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Bolsonaro was blamed by many for covid catastrophe.

Latin America has been hit hard by a coronavirus. But in Brazil, much of the blame for the sustained outbreaks is being laid at the feet of the government of the far-right, populist president.

Mr. Bolsonaro, a critic of lockdowns, has held scores of busy, crowded rallies with his supporters during the pandemic.

Gemma Broadhurst
Gemma Broadhurst is a 23-year-old computing student who enjoys extreme ironing, hockey and duck herding. She is kind and entertaining, but can also be very standoffish and a bit evil.She is an Australian Christian. She is currently at college. studying computing. She is allergic to milk. She has a severe phobia of chickens

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