Brazil exceeds 100,000 deaths from COVID-19

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil passed the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday and, five months after the first reported case, the country has no obvious signs of overcoming the disease.

This country with about 210 million inhabitants has reported an average of more than 1,000 daily deaths from the pandemic since the end of May and registered 905 in the last 24 hours.

The Ministry of Health indicated that there were a total of 3,012,412 confirmed infections – numbers of cases and deaths surpassed only by the United States. And, as in many countries, experts consider that both numbers are far below reality due to insufficient diagnostic tests.

In a tribute to the victims of COVID-19, the non-governmental organization Río de Paz placed crosses in the sand on the popular Copacabana beach on Saturday and released 1,000 red balloons.

“It is very sad. Those 100,000 represent various families, friends, parents, children, ”lamented Marcio do Nascimento Silva, a 56-year-old taxi driver who lost his children due to the pandemic and joined the tribute. “We reached the mark (of 100,000) and many people seem not to see it, both from the government and from our population. It’s not about numbers but about people. Death has normalized ”.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who has reported being infected, has been consistently skeptical of the disease’s impact and is in favor of removing restrictions on the economy that state governors have imposed to combat the pandemic. He has frequently performed in meetings, sometimes without wearing a mask.

On the day that Brazil exceeded 100,000 deaths, the government’s communication secretariat responded to the criticisms that the former Brazilian Minister of Justice and Public Security launched through social networks for the way in which federal authorities handled the pandemic.

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“These are the numbers that deserve to be revealed: – ALMOST 3 MILLION LIVES SAVED OR IN RECOVERY- ONE OF THE LOWEST DEATH RATES PER MILLION AMONG LARGE POPULATION NATIONS”, tweeted the secretariat, sharing Moro’s tweet. Bolsonaro responded to the message with a handshake emoji.

Analysts have complained about a lack of national coordination under the Bolsonaro government and the inconsistent response of state and municipal governments, which includes reopening in certain regions earlier than recommended by health experts.

Brazil faces the pandemic with an interim Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello, a military general who made his career in logistics. Two former health ministers, both doctors, left office over differences with Bolsonaro over social distancing measures and the use of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug promoted by the president, but which most studies have found to be. ineffective in fighting COVID-19, and even dangerous.

Bolsonaro, who has classified COVID-19 as a “little flu,” says he recovered from the disease thanks to hydroxychloroquine.

Most of the 27 Brazilian states have started to reopen stores and restaurants. In Rio de Janeiro, shopping malls and restaurants have reopened beforehand and people have returned to the beaches.

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