New Delhi, March 15:
Brazil has now crossed India to become the second-worst nation hit by Covid-19.
On Sunday, the Latin American country reported 43,812 new cases of coronavirus and 1,127 new Covid-19 deaths, ending the most lethal week since the pandemic began a year ago.
With this rapid increase in coronavirus cases, Brazil has recorded a total of 2,78,229 deaths and 1,14,83,370 cases and now stands lags only the United States, where the epidemic is slowing dramatically.
The nation having a population of around 212 million is facing its worst Covid wave ever since the virus first hit the country last year. Brazil is seeing more Covid deaths and cases than ever before and hence its hospitals are filled to the brim and overflowing.
The World Health Organization has said that the state of the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil is very concerning and serious action needs to be taken.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that everyone in Brazil should take the situation seriously, adding that neighbouring countries could be affected.
“Unless serious measures are taken the upward trend now flooding the health system and becoming more than its capacity will result in more deaths,” he said at a news conference in Geneva.
Since coronavirus vaccinations started in Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro has cast doubt on their effectiveness.
He recently began walking back on such scepticism but continues to claim drugs such as hydroxychloroquine can help prevent hospitalization, though they have shown no benefits in rigorous studies.
Due to low supplies and slow rollout, almost 5% of Brazilians have received at least one vaccine shot so far, according to Brazil’s national council of state health secretaries. But 79% of Brazilians want to be vaccinated, according to a survey that pollster Datafolha published on January 23. That’s up 6 percentage points from the prior poll in December.
India, meanwhile, reported the year’s biggest daily increase in Covid-19 cases on Sunday, with 25,320 new infections. The total number of coronavirus cases in India stands at 1,13,59,048. India’s Covid-19 deaths rose by 161 to 1,58,607 over the last 24 hours.