Nepal | September 20, 2020

Brazil COVID-19 deaths reach 100,000 and barrel onward

Reuters
Share Now:

BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil’s death toll from COVID-19 passed 100,000 on Saturday and continue to climb as most Brazilian cities reopen shops and dining even though the pandemic has yet to peak.

Confronting its most lethal outbreak since the Spanish flu a century ago, Brazil reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus at the end of February. The virus took three months to kill 50,000 people, and just 50 days to kill the next 50,000.

Led by President Jair Bolsonaro, who has played down the gravity of the pandemic and fought lockdowns by local officials, Brazilians who protested nightly from their windows in the first months of the outbreak have met the grim milestone with a shrug.

“We should be living in despair, because this is a tragedy like a world war. But Brazil is under collective anesthesia,” said Dr. José Davi Urbaez, a senior member of the Infectious Diseases Society.

He and other pubic health experts have raised the alarm that Brazil still has no coordinated plan to fight the pandemic, as many officials focus on “reopening,” which is likely to boost the spread of the disease and worsen the outbreak.

The health ministry on Saturday reported 49,970 new confirmed cases and 905 deaths in the last 24 hours, raising the number of cases to more than 3 million and the death toll to 100,477.

Brazil’s Supreme Court and Congress, institutions that have criticized Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic, respectively declared three and four days of national mourning for the 100,000 dead. The president did not comment publicly.

Two health ministers, both physicians, have resigned over differences with Bolsonaro. The acting health minister is an army general who has abandoned the call for social distancing, which experts says is essential but the president opposes.

Bolsonaro, who has called COVID-19 a “little flu,” says he recovered from his own infection thanks to hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that remains unproven against the coronavirus.

“We don’t know where it will stop, maybe at 150,000 or 200,000 deaths. Only time will show the full impact of COVID-19 here,” said Alexandre Naime, head of Sao Paulo State University’s department of infectious diseases.

He said the only comparison may be diseases brought by colonizers, such as smallpox, that decimated indigenous populations when Europeans first arrived in the Americas.

While that history is long past, Urbaez said Brazil today seems equally resigned to the COVID-19 deaths to come.

“The government’s message today is: ‘Catch your coronavirus and if it’s serious, there is intensive care.’ That sums up our policy today,” said Urbaez of the Infectious Disease Society.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

New deterrent provisions on the cards

Punishment for acid attack perpetrators seen as too less KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 19 Acid attack victim Muskan Khatun’s plea to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has moved the PM to bring stringent laws to curb such attacks. Khatun told THT she was happy the PM had agreed to bring stringent laws to Read More...

Late Nketiah strike gives Arsenal 2-1 win over West Ham

LONDON: A late goal from substitute Eddie Nketiah gave Arsenal a 2-1 home win over West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday after Michail Antonio's first-half strike for the visitors had cancelled out Alexandre Lacazette's 50th goal for the Gunners. West Ham were more organised Read More...

Curfew in Sarlahi to thwart communal clash

RAUTAHAT, SEPTEMBER 19 Sarlahi District Administration Office has imposed curfew in district headquarters Malangawa for 18 hours starting from 01:30pm today. The curfew will remain in place till 08:00am tomorrow. The DAO clamped the curfew after a clash broke out between people of two communit Read More...

Restoration of historical Ranipokhari almost completed

This is an example of how archaeologically important sites should be built KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 19 After nearly five-and-a-halfyears of desiccation followed by the 2015 earthquakes that destroyed the Balgopaleshwor temple in the middle of the pond, the authorities are very close to completing re Read More...

Protest seeking MP Chaudhary’s release

RAJBIRAJ, SEPTEMBER 19 A demonstration was staged in Saptari today demanding the release of the jailed member of the Parliament Resham Chaudhary. The protestors also sought for amendment in the Constitution. Speaking at the protest meeting today jointly organised by Janata Socialist Party and Read More...

Ministry of Home Affairs

Govt announces list of 594 persons for state honours

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 19 The Government of Nepal today announced a list of 594 personalities, who would be conferred with various honours, titles and medals, to mark the Constitution Day. According to a public notice issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, as many as 453 persons will receive th Read More...

Amnesty granted to 289 jailbirds

KATHMANDU: President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has granted amnesty to 289 jailbirds, with effect from Saturday. The convicts were serving sentences in prisons across the country. According to a press release issued by the Office of the President, they benefited from amnesty on the occasion of Constitu Read More...

Deceased journo Pahari’s family demands investigation

DHANGADI, SEPTEMBER 19 Family of journalist Nirmala Paharai today claimed that she was murdered and demanded that the guilty behind her killing be booked. Paharai was found dead in the forest of Ghodaghodi yesterday. Organising a press meet in Dhangadhi, Nirmala’s elder brother Bishal cl Read More...