With more than 300,000 deaths throughout the pandemic and a peak of 3,251 deaths in a single day last Tuesday, Brazil has become the world center of the pandemic. Its forecast, not at all hopeful, clashes with the policies and attitude of its president, Jair Bolsonaro, who continues to fail to implement strong containment measures.
Brazil needed almost eleven months to add up the first 200,000 victims; however, since January 7 until now, another 100,000 people have died, in only two and a half months. Meanwhile, Brazilian state governors are trying to push through policies to help curb the pandemic, many of them appealed in court by Bolsonaro himself. The most important thing has been the bad vision from the central government. From the beginning Bolsonaro had a denialist vision, he demystified the strength of the pandemic, he did not assume centralized policies.
The worsening of the situation confirmed that Brazil is facing a second wave of covid, much more virulent and lethal than the first, partly caused by the circulation in the country of new strains of the virus, including the so-called Brazilian variant.
The increase in contagions and deaths has much of Brazil on the verge of a hospital collapse, as in 25 of the country’s 27 states the occupancy rate of intensive care units (ICU) exceeds 80%.
Bolsonaro’s policies are what have caused this crazy number of deaths while the Brazilian president has erratic behavior and his abandonment in the face of science has been notorious and real.
According to a study released Wednesday by the Fluminense Federal University (UFF), Brazil could reach 5,000 deaths per day from COVID-19 by the end of April or early May, when the new wave of the pandemic will be at its peak.
Added to this complicated situation is the fear of shortages. The main reason for this is the shortage of substances used for patients with severe covid-19. This is what is known as the “intubation kit”, which includes oxygen, analgesics, sedatives and neuromuscular blockers, among other drugs.
The problem lies in the increasing saturation of hospitals, which has caused these vital medical supplies to become scarce. The National Front of Mayors, which brings together Brazilian municipal leaders, warned that in at least 76 cities oxygen reserves are close to running out.
At the same time, the issue of vaccination is of vital importance, something that Bolsonaro has questioned in the past. Despite continuing to defend early treatment, although without citing the drugs he always championed such as chloroquine -without scientific proof of its efficacy-, Bolsonaro has now shifted to a pro-vaccine discourse and has guaranteed that the country will have the 500 million doses needed in the second half of the year.