Brazil records 4,195 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours
Published on: April 07, 2021 04:25 (EAT)
Around a third of the deaths reported Tuesday were in São Paulo, where 1,389 people died in 24 hours, state government data showed — a record for the most deaths in a single day in any Brazilian state.
That comes despite the state imposing more restrictive measures a month ago, including the closure of businesses that deal directly with the public, such as shops, restaurants and bars.
Bolsonaro also said locking down would be counterproductive, as people would be more vulnerable to the virus.
“I saw some recent research that those who have a healthy lifestyle are eight times less likely to have problems with Covid,” he said. “You lock people at home… what does he do at home? I doubt they haven’t increased their weight a little, from last year to this year.”
“Even I grew my belly a little bit,” he joked.
The record daily count comes as hospitals and intensive care units (ICUs) in some cities are turning patients away and as the nation’s entire health system is on the brink of collapse. Brazil is battling several new variants, some of which scientists believe are more contagious. Younger people appear to be getting more seriously ill than in the pandemic’s early stages, though it is unclear what role variants may play in that trend.
As of late Tuesday, 23 out of Brazil’s 27 federations reported an ICU occupancy rate of 80% or more. Of those, 15 have either collapsed or are on the verge of collapsing, with ICU occupancy over 90%. Mato Grosso do Sul is already over capacity, while only four states are under 80% occupancy.
Brazil’s vaccine rollout program has also been dogged by delays.
Bolsonaro on Tuesday expressed interest in acquiring Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, during a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bolsonaro added that the shot would first need approval in the country.
“We are finalizing communications with the other [health] authorities, including Anvisa, on how we can effectively import this vaccine,” Bolsonaro said, referring to Brazil’s health regulatory agency.
Global Covid-19 cases have risen for the sixth consecutive week, according to the World Health Organization’s Weekly Epidemiological Update on Tuesday. Brazil, the US, Turkey, France and India are reporting the highest case numbers.