Covid: Brazil Hits 500,000 Deaths Amid 'Critical' Situation

Covid: Brazil Hits 500,000 Deaths Amid 'Critical' Situation

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.

Andrew H. Sweet

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.

President Bolsonaro has been heavily criticized for not implementing a coordinated national response and for his skepticism toward vaccines, lockdowns, and mask-wearing requirements, which he has sought to loosen.

The opposition accuses the president of delaying the purchase of vaccines for political reasons, as he has consistently played down the severity of the pandemic. Congress is investigating the government's handling of the pandemic.

The outbreak in Brazil has been fuelled by more transmissible variants of the virus, including the one first identified in the Amazon region known as Gamma. An average of 70,000 cases has been confirmed daily in the last week.

Read the original story here.

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