Brazil sets new daily record of 1,600-plus Covid-19 deaths
People attend the funeral of a Covid-19 victim at the Nossa Senhora Aparecida Cemetary in Manaus, Brazil, on March 1, 2021. EFE-EPA/Raphael Alves
Rio de Janeiro, Mar 2 (efe-epa).- Brazil set a new daily record of 1,641 Covid-19 deaths within the past 24 hours, surpassing the previous figure of 1,595 on July 29, 2020, when the first wave of pandemic was at its peak, according to official figures released on Tuesday.
According to the tally provided by the National Health Secretaries Council (Conass), 257,361 people have died in Brazil of Covid-19 since Feb. 26, 2020, when the first coronavirus case was detected in the South American giant and in Latin America as a whole.
The Conass figures augment the basic number released daily by the Health Ministry, which apparently had problems updating its figures on its Web site.
The figure confirms that Brazil, with its population of more than 210 million, is one of the world's countries hardest hit by the pandemic, following the United States - which is in the No. 1 spot - in terms of Covid deaths.
For the past 40 days, the number of daily Covid deaths has not dropped below 1,000 and confirmed infections stand at an average of about 50,000 per day. The number of deaths per day, on average, over the past week has been 1,262, the highest daily one-week average total since the start of the pandemic.
To date, mortality from the virus in Brazil has risen to 122.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the infection rate is 5,066.4 per 100,000. The lethality index for the virus stands at 2.4 percent of those infected across the population.
Regarding infections, Conass confirmed 59,925 new cases over the past 24 hours, putting the total number of known infections nationwide to 10,646,926.
Brazil is experiencing its worst period so far during the pandemic with a second and more virulent wave of the virus sweeping through the population because of the spread of the Brazilian P.1 variant of the coronavirus, which experts consider to be a more contagious strain, according to preliminary statistics.
About half the country's regions are on the verge of having their hospital systems collapse, with intensive care units more than 80 percent filled and healthcare services semi-paralyzed due to the tightening of restrictions imposed by the regional governments in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.
Since Covid hit Brazil a year ago, the epicenter of the pandemic has been Sao Paulo, the country's most populous and industrialized state with some 46 million residents.
On Tuesday, Sao Paulo also registered the largest number of Covid deaths in a single day since the virus hit the country, with 426 people dying in the past 24 hours, bringing the state's death toll to above 60,000.
According to the daily report issued by the state health secretariat, 10,168 new Covid cases were confirmed over the past day and the official number of cases in the state now stands at 2,054,867.
The increase in deaths and infections on Tuesday forced certain municipalities in Sao Paulo to up their safety measures and the regional government is not ruling out decreeing a quarantine if the situation worsens.
Since the weekend, Sao Paulo has tightened daily circulation restrictions by six hours, with all businesses and services being required to close at 11 pm except those considered to be "essential."
Twelve other regions around the country have implemented nighttime curfews and the capital of Brasilia closed down its businesses and schools for the next two weeks.
The hospital collapse is threatening 17 capital cities around the country, including Port Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul state, where intensive care units were filled to an incredible 119 percent of capacity.
So far, Amazonas has been the only state to have found it necessary to transport patients to other states, but on Tuesday Santa Catarina announced that it will now transport certain patients to hospitals in Espiritu Santo because there is no more local ICU capacity.