Brazil surpassed France in number of infected with the new coronavirus on Wednesday and became the sixth country in the world with more cases, according to a survey carried out by the American university Johns Hopkins. By Tuesday he had already overtaken Germany. Ahead of Brazil are now only the USA, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom and Italy, and according to the available indicators, all these countries, except the USA, should be surpassed in the coming days by the South American giant, in another sign that pandemic focus left Europe for America.
The total number of deaths until this Wednesday was 12,703. The number of cases of 181,518.
And the figures for Brazil, the country with the most cases and deaths from Covid-19 in Latin America, are likely to be underestimated. Based on records from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and regional bodies, scientists estimate that the actual number of coronavirus cases in the country was already 1.6 million last week. The growth of almost 10 times the number of hospitalizations and 1,035% of deaths from respiratory syndromes are evidence of the underreporting of deaths and serious cases of Covid-19 in the country, reveals the G1 website.
In addition, note the The Lancet, respected magazine of the area, that the estimate of the rate of doubling the number of deaths is only five days.
Brazil also has the highest transmission rate, according to a recent study by Imperial College London, which analyzed the active transmission rate in 48 countries.
The country has performed 482,743 exams so far, of which more than 145,000 are still awaiting results. As this number of tests is relatively low and the priority is for critically ill patients, those who need to be hospitalized, the number of underreporting is high.
The biggest threat
“Right now, big cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are the main focuses, but there are signs that the infection is moving into the interior of the states, where there are smaller cities, without adequate provisions for beds with intensive care and ventilators. “says The Lancet in editorial.
To finish: “Still, perhaps the biggest threat to the response to Covid-19 for Brazil is its president, Jair Bolsonaro, which continues to sow confusion and openly despise and discourage the sensible measures of physical distance and confinement introduced by state governors and city mayors “.
Arthur Virgílio Neto, mayor of Manaus, one of the most affected cities, gives a testimony about this seed of confusion from the Planalto Palace, in an interview with the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo: “There is a phenomenon in Brazil that is the constant preaching of the president, I speak all the time, showing what is and what is not, but much of it is destroyed by the preaching that the president does next “.
On Tuesday, Bolsonaro determined that activities such as gyms, manicures, beauty salons and barber shops were considered essential. The announcement surprised governors, mayors – many of them decided to ignore the decree – and even the minister of health himself: Nelson Teich, who is already the second in office since the beginning of the pandemic, learned of the reopening of those activities, live, during a question of a journalist at a press conference.
Teich, on the other hand, resists pointing to hydroxychloroquine as the medicine that can solve the pandemic, as the president proclaims, which has made him the target of the most radical wing of Bolsonaro’s supporters, the same ones who manifest themselves in agglomerations for returning to work.
Before Teich, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, health minister who defended confinement, fell in mid-April, according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization but in conflict with Bolsonaro’s ideas on the topic.
The president, who released an already famous “so what?”, When questioned with another record day of deaths, said on another occasion that he was not a “grave digger”, announced days before the virus was “going away” even with the rampant case curve, and called, in the first official speech in the pandemic, the new coronavirus “gripezinha”.
With their government officials sending out mixed signals – most governors and mayors and the two ministers (so far) of health recommend isolation while the president encourages them to return to work – many citizens have loosened their own behavior in large and small cities.
“It’s a flu like any other,” said a retired couple, strolling, without a mask on the Copacabana waterfront, in the Globonews channel report a week ago.
The greatest example of defying the disease came from Gabriela Pugliesi, personal trainer and digital influencer. After contracting the disease during her sister’s luxurious wedding, she recommended over the internet to her 4.5 million followers on social media, while coughing, to stay home and take care of herself.
Weeks later, already healed, she organized a party, without masks, in her apartment in São Paulo, the epicenter of the disease, and published a photo under the caption “f *** – se a vida”.
In an interview with DN in March, Tereza Campello, former minister of Dilma Rousseff, had already classified Bolsonaro’s presence in the presidency at such a time as “the worst of the worst scenarios”.
“All countries are facing 1918, the Spanish flu health crisis, 1929, with the crash of the New York Stock Exchange and the respective productive and economic crisis, and 2008, the year of the financial crisis, at the same time. Brazil still faces a political crisis – it is the perfect storm. At a time of this gravity, the president fights with the Senate, with the Chamber of Deputies and with the Supreme Federal Court, offends governors and municipalities and even disallows the health minister himself, who is trying to tackle the problem. Not even in the worst of the worst, in the worst of scenarios, could such a president be imagined “, he said.
And he also warned of “the genocide” that would become the epidemic in Brazil because of the country’s characteristics.
As, incidentally, it also underlines the The Lancet: “Even without political actions at the federal level, Brazil would have a difficult challenge in combating Covid-19. About 13 million Brazilians live in slums, which often have houses with more than three people per division and reduced access to clean water . Recommendations for physical distance and hygiene are practically impossible to follow under these conditions “.
Even so, he points out, many favelas were better organized to face the pandemic than the federal government.