Brazil exceeds 600,000 victims of Covid-19, amid criticism for the management of the pandemic

First modification:

The South American nation exceeded 600,000 deaths from Covid-19 on October 8. On Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, in Brasilia, the capital, and in other parts of the country, activities were held in honor of those who died from the disease. Although Brazil has reduced the numbers of the pandemic in recent months, activists demand responsibility for the government’s management.

Copacabana beach in Brazil was covered in white on October 8. Brazilian activists spread 600 handkerchiefs throughout this emblematic tourist destination in tribute to the more than 600,000 fatalities left by Covid-19 in the South American nation.

This Friday, the country’s Ministry of Health added another 615 victims of the disease to the total count of the pandemic, bringing the total number of deaths in the South American nation to 600,425, surpassing this death toll, which only the United States has surpassed. .

The country exceeded this barrier exactly 110 days after reaching half a million fatalities from the disease last June. Then the country was coming out of the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak in the nation and was on the verge of entering the third.

A volunteer helps hang white handkerchiefs during a tribute to the thousands of Covid-19 fatalities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. October 8, 2021. © EFE/ André Coelho

At a general level, the pandemic has left 21.6 million infections in the nation, making it the third country with the most confirmed cases of the disease in absolute terms. Only the United States and India, as the first and second countries with the most infections globally, respectively, surpass Brazil in that index.

“There’s still a long way to go”

The national authorities highlight that the cases of contagion and deaths have plummeted since last April the country registered some 3,100 deaths daily, with an average of around 500 at the moment.

But some specialists are critical of the situation. “We continue at a very bad level, there is still little to celebrate. We are not as bad as before, but we remain bad,” says Ethel Maciel, epidemiologist and researcher at the Federal University of the Holy Spirit. The doctor added that “the ideal” is that the disease becomes endemic and that the country registers about “500 deaths a year, and not every day, as it happens now.” “And there is still a long way to go,” he says.

The decrease in cases and deaths in the country are attributed to the increase in vaccination, which, although it started slowly in the country, has rapidly reached high immunization rates. According to official data, about 70% of the Brazilian population, which amounts to about 213 million people, has received a first dose against the coronavirus and 45.2% the second.

Demonstrators protest against the handling of the pandemic by the Government of President Jair Bolsonaro and in tribute to the 600,000 deaths from Covid-19 that the South American country registers, on October 8, 2021 in Brasilia, Brazil.
Demonstrators protest against the handling of the pandemic by the Government of President Jair Bolsonaro and in tribute to the 600,000 deaths from Covid-19 that the South American country registers, on October 8, 2021 in Brasilia, Brazil. © EFE / Joédson Alves

“The main responsible is the federal government, starting with the president”

After crossing 600,000 deaths, there are many who blame the authorities for poor management of the pandemic. The Brazilian NGO Rio de Paz, in charge of the act of tribute to the victims in Copacabana, held the authorities responsible for the fact that so many people have died in the country due to this disease, pointing directly to President Jair Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly downplayed the impact of the virus.

“A question is imposed at a tragic moment like this: who is responsible for this tragedy? The main responsible is the federal government, starting with the president (…) President Bolsonaro rejected at all times the observance of the norms organized public demonstrations that caused crowds, disparaged the recommendations of epidemiologists and specialists in infectious diseases and never showed empathy for the Brazilian people, “says Antonio Carlos Costa, president of Rio de Paz.

In April, the Brazilian Senate launched an investigation into Bolsonaro, which aims to determine whether the government committed “omissions” in managing the pandemic. Bolsonaro is accused of having obstructed the arrival of certain vaccines to the country and having favored the arrival of others responding to his own interests, in addition to having appealed on many occasions not to impose distancing measures.

With EFE and Reuters

.