Brazil: 82,000 dead from COVID-19 in April, new monthly record

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Brazil recorded 2,595 new deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total for April to 82,266, the second consecutive monthly record since the start of the pandemic, according to figures from the Ministry of Health.

• Read also: Brazil exceeds 400,000 dead from COVID-19

In March, until then the deadliest month, 66,573 deaths were recorded.

In total, the country of 212 million inhabitants deplores 403,781 deaths, making it the second most bereaved country in the world in absolute numbers behind the United States (more than 575,000 dead).

And more than 14 million infections have been identified since the appearance of a first case of COVID-19 in February 2020.

The contaminations and deaths curve is stabilizing, however, but at a high level: the average daily death rate stood at 2,480 deaths in the last seven days, against more than 3,000 in the previous weeks.

In relative figures, Brazil has the highest number of deaths per inhabitant in Latin America (192/100 000 inhabitants) and now exceeds the United Kingdom (188/100 000 inhabitants).

However, it is below Italy (200), Belgium (209) or Hungary (285).

The number of deaths has increased exponentially since the start of the year: it took more than five months to go from 100,000 to 200,000 deaths on January 7, but then only 77 days to reach 300,000 (24 March) and 37 for the 400,000.

Experts highlight in particular the strong impact of the P1 variant, more contagious and suspected of being more severe, which first affected the Amazon before spreading throughout the country.

The occupancy rate of intensive care units in hospitals shows slight signs of improvement, but remains above 80% in most Brazilian states, according to the latest bulletin from the Fiocruz Foundation, which depends on the Ministry of Health.

So far, 13% of the population (28.7 million people) have received a first dose of vaccine and 6% (13.3 million) both doses.

On Friday, the famous Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro was turned into a symbolic cemetery in protest against the handling of the epidemic by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

Some 400 body bags were placed on the sand.

“These bags represent the Brazilians who were buried in mass graves (…) dead without any solemnity,” Antônio Carlos Costa, head of the human rights NGO Rio de Paz, told AFP. .