Brazil on a plateau of 3,000 deaths per day

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Brazil has entered a very high plateau for a week at nearly 3,000 daily COVID-19 deaths, after several months of dizzying increases in death and contamination curves.

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“The curves have apparently stabilized, but at a very worrying level, with a still extremely high number of deaths,” Mauro Sanchez, epidemiologist at the University of Brasilia, told AFP.

Brazil, the second most bereaved country in the world in absolute numbers by the coronavirus, with nearly 385,000 deaths, has recorded an average of 2,799 daily deaths over the last seven days, and this figure has remained below 3,000 since the 15th. April.

The average daily contamination, which had exceeded 75,000 new cases at the end of March, has now fallen below 65,000.

The number of deaths and contaminations began to increase exponentially from January, in particular due to the circulation of the Amazonian variant, P1, which is more contagious.

Despite this “apparent stabilization” for a week, Mauro Sanchez still warns of the risk of seeing the curves start to rise again, due to the Easter holidays, the effects not being felt until a few weeks later.

“If there were a lot of gatherings during these holidays, this stability could only be temporary,” he warns.

But this specialist fears above all that Brazil has once again entered an endless high plateau, like last year, when the country had more than 1,000 deaths on average per day from June to August.

“With the second wave, the curves started to go up in November and this rise became very sharp from January, and we reached this very high level. We cannot trivialize these figures and say that a day with 2,500 dead is a good thing, ”he said.

For several weeks, restrictive measures began to be lifted in many states, including those of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

“Sometimes this lifting of restrictions is insignificant, for example the authorization to open bars two hours later. But what is worrying is the message that this sends to the population, which ends up slacking off and exposing themselves more to the virus, ”concludes Mr. Sanchez.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has consistently downplayed the pandemic, is being criticized from all sides for his handling of the health crisis and a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (ICC) is due to start working next week on government “omissions”.

Brazil already has the worst death rate in the Americas and the Southern Hemisphere, with 182 deaths from COVID-19 per 100,000 population, ahead of the United States (172).