Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

'A biological Fukushima': Brazil COVID-19 deaths on track to pass worst of U.S. wave

CoronavirusApr 06, 2021 09:11PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
5/5 © Reuters. Burial of COVID-19 victims at Campo Santo cemetery, in Porto Alegre 2/5

By Pedro Fonseca

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil's brutal surge in COVID-19 deaths will soon surpass the worst of a record January wave in the United States, scientists forecast, with fatalities climbing for the first time above 4,000 in a day on Tuesday as the outbreak overwhelms hospitals.

Brazil's overall death toll trails only the U.S. outbreak, with nearly 337,000 killed, according to Health Ministry data, compared with more than 555,000 dead in the United States.

But with Brazil's healthcare system at the breaking point, the country could exceed total U.S. deaths, despite having a population two-thirds that of the United States, two experts told Reuters.

"It's a nuclear reactor that has set off a chain reaction and is out of control. It's a biological Fukushima," said Miguel Nicolelis, a Brazilian doctor and professor at Duke University, who is closely tracking the virus.

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry reported another 4,195 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, well above the country's prior single-day record. Brazil has set daily death records every week since late February, as a more contagious local variant and meager social distancing efforts fuel an uncontrolled outbreak.

With mass vaccinations curtailing the U.S. outbreak, Brazil has become the epicenter of the pandemic, contributing about one in four deaths per day globally, according to a Reuters analysis.

President Jair Bolsonaro has pushed back against mask-wearing and lockdowns that public health experts consider the best way to lessen virus transmission.

The country dragged its feet last year as the world raced to secure vaccines, slowing the launch of a national immunization program.

Despite the recent surge, Brazilian officials are insistent that the country can soon return to something resembling business as usual.

"We think that probably two, three months from now Brazil could be back to business," Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said during an online event on Tuesday. "Of course, probably economic activity will take a drop but it will be much, much less than the drop we suffered last year ... and much, much shorter."

Bolsonaro has responded to growing political pressure with a dramatic shakeup of a half dozen ministries, putting loyalists in key roles ahead of what may be a tough re-election campaign next year against his political nemesis.

While the president has shifted his tone on immunizations, touting vaccines he had recently disdained, the far-right former army captain continues to battle in the courts against state and municipal restrictions on economic activity.

With weak measures failing to combat contagion, Brazil's COVID-19 cases and deaths are accumulating faster than ever.

Nicolelis and Christovam Barcellos, a researcher at Brazilian medical institute Fiocruz, are separately forecasting that Brazil could surpass the United States in both overall deaths and the record for average deaths per day.

As soon as next week, Brazil may break the record U.S. seven-day average for COVID-19 deaths, according to a model by the influential Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. The U.S. average for daily deaths peaked at 3,285 in January.

The IHME forecast does not currently extend beyond July 1, when it projects Brazil could reach 563,000 deaths, compared with 609,000 total U.S. fatalities expected by then.

'A biological Fukushima': Brazil COVID-19 deaths on track to pass worst of U.S. wave
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Jan Buyle
Jan Buyle Apr 07, 2021 1:22AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
That's what you get when you elect a brutal narcistic dictator for pesident. Get Bolsonaro out!
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email