Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

Brazil Hits 500,000 Deaths amid ‘Critical’ Situation

Brazil Hits 500,000 Deaths amid  ‘Critical’ Situation

BRASILIA - The number of deaths related to Covid-19 has passed 500,000 in Brazil, the second-highest in the world, as experts say the outbreak could worsen amid slow vaccination and the start of winter.
The virus continues to spread as President Jair Bolsonaro refuses to back measures like social distancing.
The health institute Fiocruz says the situation is "critical". Only 15% of adults are fully vaccinated.
Congress is investigating the government's handling of the pandemic.
But Dr Natalia Pasternak Taschner, a microbiologist at the Question of Science Institute, told the BBC she saw little sign that the rise in victims would slow.
"People in Brazil are tired and they normalise death now so I think we still have a long way to go," she said.
"If we're not successful in changing the behaviour of people and if we don't have campaigns for mask wearing, social distancing and vaccinations coming directly from the central government we're not going to be able to control it."
President Bolsonaro has been heavily criticised for not implementing a co-ordinated national response and for his scepticism toward vaccines, lockdowns and mask-wearing requirements, which he has sought to loosen.
In rallies in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and elsewhere, people carried banners with slogans like "Bolsonaro must go" or simply "500,000."
"His position on Covid and his denialism are absurd. He has abandoned reality and common sense. There is no explaining this, it is surreal," Robert Almeida, a 50-year-old marching in Rio, told AFP.
Protester Denise Azevedo told Reuters: "Herd immunity won't do any good. The only immunity you can get is with the vaccine. There is no early treatment. I have lost millions of friends, almost lost a cousin... people are orphans, fatherless, motherless, and childless."
The president has said the impact of lockdowns on the economy would be worse than the virus, and insists he has done all he can to buy vaccines from several countries.
But the opposition accuses him of delaying vaccine orders for political reasons, as he has consistently played down the severity of the pandemic. (BBC)