Brazil’s Covid Crisis Is a Warning to the Whole World
Updated: Jun 22
According to The Guardian, "Brazil’s rampant coronavirus outbreak has become a global threat that risks spawning new and even more lethal variants, one of the South American country’s top scientists has warned as it suffered its deadliest day of the pandemic."
Speaking to the Guardian, Miguel Nicolelis, a Duke University neuroscientist who is tracking the crisis, urged the international community to challenge the Brazilian government over its failure to contain an epidemic that has killed more than a quarter of a million Brazilians – about 10% of the global total.
“The world must vehemently speak out over the risks Brazil is posing to the fight against the pandemic,” said Nicolelis, who has spent most of the last year confined to his flat on the west side of São Paulo.
“What’s the point in sorting the pandemic out in Europe or the United States, if Brazil continues to be a breeding ground for this virus?”
Nicolelis said the problem was not simply Brazil – whose far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has repeatedly spurned efforts to combat a disease he calls a “little flu” – being “the worst country in the world in its handling of the pandemic”.
He said: “It’s that if you allow the virus to proliferate at the levels it is currently proliferating here, you open the door to the occurrence of new mutations and the appearance of even more lethal variants.”
Nicolelis said Bolsonaro’s failure to halt the outbreak and launch an adequate vaccination campaign had created a domestic tragedy from which Latin America’s most populous nation was unlikely to emerge until late 2022.
“We’ve now gone past 250,000 deaths, and my expectation is that if nothing is done we could have lost 500,000 people here in Brazil by next March. It’s a horrifying and tragic prospect, but at this point, it’s perfectly possible,” he said, predicting a traumatic month as public and private hospitals buckled.
“My forecast is that if the world was appalled by what happened in Bergamo in Italy and what happened in Manaus a few weeks ago, it’s going to be even more shocked by the rest of Brazil if nothing is done.”
New York Times said," Brazil is seeing a record number of deaths, and the spread of a more contagious coronavirus variant that may cause reinfection."
“The acceleration of the epidemic in various states is leading to the collapse of their public and private hospital systems, which may soon become the case in every region of Brazil,” the national association of health secretaries said in a statement.
Covid-19 has already left a trail of death and despair in Brazil, one of the worst in the world. Now, a year into the pandemic, the country is setting another wrenching record.
No other nation that experienced such a major outbreak is still grappling with record-setting death tolls and a health care system on the brink of collapse. Many other hard-hit nations are, instead, taking tentative steps toward a semblance of normalcy.
But Brazil is battling a more contagious variant that has trampled one major city and is spreading to others, even as Brazilians toss away precautionary measures that could keep them safe.
On Tuesday, Brazil recorded more than 1,700 Covid-19 deaths, the highest single-day toll of the pandemic.
From BBC "Covid: Brazil's Bolsonaro calls governors 'tyrants' over lockdowns. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has described as "tyrants" state governors and mayors who have imposed lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Addressing supporters at his birthday celebrations in Brasilia, he said his government had done all it could and it was now time to reopen the economy."
Brazil has been struggling with the rollout of its vaccination program across the vast country. So far, it has been using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and China's CoronaVac, both of which require two jabs.
Brazil has also placed orders for the Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, and Sputnik V vaccines.
Brazil has the world's second-highest number of Covid-related deaths - only behind the US.
More than 294,000 people have died since the start of the pandemic, with nearly 12 million confirmed infections, according to America's Johns Hopkins University.
More than 2,200 people on average are dying of Covid in Brazil daily.
The latest surge in cases has been attributed to the spread of highly contagious variants of the virus.