Brazil reports record daily Covid-19 deaths as pandemic spreads
The country reported 1,349 new deaths on Wednesday, bringing the number of fatalities to 32,548.Updated: Jun 04, 2020 07:33 IST
Brazil reported a record number of daily deaths from Covid-19 as the pandemic continues to spread in Latin America’s largest nation.
The country reported 1,349 new deaths on Wednesday, bringing the number of fatalities to 32,548. It also said it recorded 28,633 new cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the country’s total to 584,016, behind only the US
The nation of 210 million people has become an epicenter of the virus, and health experts say the peak of the disease has yet to arrive. Still, after about two months of loosely enforced quarantines, some regions of the country have begun to reopen from lockdowns, including Sao Paulo, which has been the epicenter of cases in the country. On Wednesday, the local government said cases in the state could reach 265,000 by the end of the month, from about 118,000 currently.
Contradicting orders from municipal, state and federal leaders have complicated efforts to fight the virus, which has migrated to inland and poorer regions less equipped to deal with the pandemic.
The government of President Jair Bolsonaro has resisted social distancing efforts throughout the pandemic, with Bolsonaro often mingling with supporters and pushing for people to get back to work to ease the economic fallout of the crisis. On Wednesday, data showed Brazil’s industrial output fell the most on record in April, adding to historic drops in indicators from formal jobs to broad retail sales that reflect the shutdown from the virus.
Also on Wednesday, Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel said the state was taking over management of field hospitals being built to help cope with the pandemic. Local media have reported problems ranging from delays to mismanagement in the makeshift structures. Last week Witzel, a political rival of Bolsonaro, had his official residence searched by police and his mobile phones and computers seized as part of an investigation into misuse of funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
With winter approaching the Southern Hemisphere, the country is entering a period of increased cases of respiratory diseases, further adding to concern that the peak may still be weeks away. The Health Ministry said last week that the curve of cases was still growing, and a report by UBS published Wednesday said that six of Brazil’s 27 states are peaking, while total deaths are increasing in 21 states.