(Rio de Janeiro) Brazil crossed the threshold of two million infections with the new coronavirus on Thursday, the second highest death toll in the world behind the United States, and is approaching that of 80,000 deaths.
The largest Latin American country has registered 45,403 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 2,012,151 infections, the health ministry said.
These figures are, however, considered to be significantly lower than reality by the scientific community, due to insufficient testing.
More than four months after the first death from COVID-19, Brazil has again recorded a very high death toll – 1,322 – in the past 24 hours – bringing the total to 76,688 deaths.
If no deceleration occurs, this country of 212 million inhabitants should thus cross the milestone of 80,000 deaths in the coming days.
The death figure also represents the second worst death toll in the world behind that of the United States, in a country whose head of state, Jair Bolsonaro, has also been infected and is in quarantine.
Brazil deplores 365 deaths per million inhabitants, a figure lower than the majority of countries affected by the health crisis, which started from China, but which hides very large regional disparities.
The coronavirus is currently very active in the South, and, in one in five states of the immense country, the contaminations curve is still clearly upward. The pandemic seems to drag on in a Brazil that recorded its first contamination on February 26.
The behavior of the virus is different according to the regions of the country-continent, but many cities have still not reached a plateau, neither for new infections nor for deaths, warn experts.
“Two million (of contaminations) is a symbolic figure, because we do not have mass tests,” Jean Gorinchteyn, infectious disease specialist at the Emilio Ribas Institute and at the Albert Einstein hospital told AFP. from Sao Paulo.
“But the real figure is probably four or five times that,” he said.
The state of Sao Paulo, the economic and cultural capital of the country, is the most affected, with more than 19,000 deaths and more than 400,000 cases of contamination, a fifth of those in the whole country.
Also in the Southeast, the tourist state of Rio de Janeiro is in second place for the death toll – nearly 12,000 – and has some 135,000 cases of contamination.
These two very populous states have recently started a recovery in economic activity, with a reopening in particular of shops, restaurants, cafes and gyms deemed premature by doctors who fear a rebound in the pandemic.
“We are still in an ascending phase” of the pandemic, said Mr. Gorinchteyn, “the deconfinement is very fast and it is possible that these figures will increase even further”.
Confined to his presidential palace in Alvorada, President Bolsonaro expressed in turn his impatience at a “horrific” deprivation of freedom of movement and his unwavering faith in hydroxychloroquine.
He assured that he “was fine” thanks to the molecule whose effectiveness has not been scientifically proven to date.