COVID-19: the Brazil crosses the cape of the million of contamination

COVID-19: le Brésil franchit le cap du million de contaminations

Brazil has overtaken Friday the milestone of a million cases of contamination of coronavirus, only reached previously by the United States, a sign that the epidemic is still not controlled in the largest country in Latin America.

New global epicentre of the pandemic, Brazil has 1 032.913 contamination after a record of 54 771 new cases in one day, announced the ministry of Health.

The country is going through in the coming days the milestone of 50 000 dead, after 48 954 death Friday, after taking account of 1,206 people dead in 24 hours.

The official statistics are considered to be very under-estimated by the scientists due to the lack of screening on a massive scale in this gigantic country of 212 million people.

But these data have made Brazil the second country in the world where the Covid-19 kills the most and contaminates the most — nearly four months after the first case — behind the United States, which exceeded 2 million cases and complain that almost 119 000 people dead.

Since the beginning of June, Brazil has recorded the most new infections (518 000) and deaths (19 000) than any other country in the world, according to a compilation of the AFP.

To this day, the largest rise in 24 hours of the event of the contamination was a little more than 34,000, a figure reached on 16 June.

The ministry explained the strong thrust of Friday, “in part by an instability in the mode of extraction of the data from States such as Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo”. Data on several days would have been recognized in respect of a single day.

With 12 232 dead, the State of Sao Paulo, the economic capital of Brazil, and as densely populated as Spain with 46 million inhabitants, is by far the first outbreak of coronavirus, in front of Rio de Janeiro, which account 8 595 dead.

Impact of the déconfinement

However, despite the symbolic milestone of one million cases, experts estimate conservatively that the pandemic seems to finally reach a plateau, even if it hides strong regional differences.

When asked about the evolution of the pandemic by the AFP, the former minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta had estimated Thursday that “the worst is past in the cities of the north and North-east, and that Sao Paulo is moving towards a decline in the next few weeks, as Rio.”

But, he warned, it will be necessary to observe the impact of déconfinement. It is this that is of concern to epidemiologists, such as the world Health Organization (WHO), while many brazilian States, including the most affected, began a déconfinement.

Some, such as Sao Paulo, have allowed the re-opening of the shops of the “non-essential”, after nearly three months of paralysis. In Rio, the football championship resumed on Thursday.

“In other cities of the South-east, it seems to me (the pandemic is) still in progress. In the South (the reflux) has not yet begun,” added Mr Mandetta.

“In considering Brazil as a whole, the epidemic (should be passed) to the end of August or in September,” he predicted.

At the heart of the Amazon, indigenous peoples have not been spared: more than 6 000 people were infected and over 300 died, according to the Association of indigenous peoples (APIB).

Waltz of ministers

If a plateau is on the horizon, it remains that the numbers of new deaths in 24 hours, remain at a very high level, above 1 200 in recent days, a sign that the epidemic is far from under control as stated by the government.

Countries without health strategy in the face of the coronavirus, Brazil is governed by a president Jair Bolsonaro, who has downplayed the crisis and called on the population not to stay confined, in the name of preserving jobs.

While the States took action in a haphazard manner, the ministry of Health has made a waltz, its holders since the onset of the pandemic.

The general Eduardo Pazuello is the third Health minister since April. He named a score of military personnel within the ministry and has generalized hydroxychloroquine, very challenged and, at the insistence of the president Bolsonaro.

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