WorldFILE PHOTO: Gravediggers wearing protective suits carry a coffin of a 32-year-old man who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as spotlights illuminate the graves during night burials at Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 30, 2021. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli
06 Apr 2021 10:46PMShare this contentBookmarkRIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's brutal surge in COVID-19 deaths will soon surpass the worst of a record January wave in the United States, climbing well beyond an average 3,000 fatalities per day, scientists predict, as contagious new variants overwhelm hospitals.
Brazil's overall death toll trails only the US outbreak, with nearly 333,000 killed, according to Health Ministry data, compared with more than 555,000 dead in the United States.AdvertisementAdvertisementBut with Brazil's healthcare system at the breaking point, the country could also exceed total US deaths, despite having two-thirds the population, two experts told Reuters. headtopics.com
"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.Right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has pushed back against mask-wearing and lockdowns that public health experts consider necessary. The country dragged its feet last year as the world raced to secure vaccines, slowing the launch of a national immunization program.
With weak measures failing to combat contagion, Brazil's COVID-19 cases and deaths are accumulating faster than ever. On the other hand, a widespread US vaccination campaign is rapidly curtailing what has been the world's deadliest outbreak.Advertisement
AdvertisementNicolelis and Christovam Barcellos, a researcher at Brazilian medical institute Fiocruz, are separately predicting 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 US seven-day average for deaths, forecasts the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. The US average for daily deaths peaked at 3,285 in January.Read more: CNA »
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