Crossão, balloons and Brazilian flags are seen on the Copacabana beach, with members of the NGO Rio de Paz paying tribute to the one million mortal victims of coronovirus disease (COVID-19) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August. 8, 2020. REUTERS / Ricardo Mores
Facing its deadliest outbreak since the Spanish flu a century ago, Brazil reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus in late February. It took three months for the virus to kill 50,000 people and just 50 days to kill the next 50,000.
Led by President Jair Bolsonaro, who has combated the epidemic by local authorities and struggled by local authorities, Brazilians who protested nightly from their windows in the first months of the outbreak were severely hit with a marrow by severe milestones Have met
“We must live in despair, because it is a tragedy like World War One. But Brazil is under collective anesthesia, ”Dr. Said Jose Davey Urbeze, a senior member of the Infectious Disease Society.
He and other pubic health experts have raised the alarm that Brazil still has no coordinated plan to fight the epidemic, as many officials focus on “reopening”, likely to boost circulation and worsen the outbreak is.
Two health ministers, both trained doctors, have resigned over differences with Bolsonaro. The acting minister is an army general who has dropped calls for social disturbances, which experts say is necessary but the president opposes.
Bolsonaro, who called COVID-19 a “little flu”, recovered from his own infection for hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that is unsafe against coronaviruses.
“We don’t know where it will stop, maybe 150,000 or 200,000 deaths. Only time will show the full impact of COVID-19 here, ”said Alexandre Naime, head of the infectious diseases department of São Paulo State University.
He said the only comparison can be with diseases brought by colonizers, such as smallpox, which destroys the indigenous population when Europeans first arrive in America.
While this history is very old, Urbez said that Brazil is equally resigned to the upcoming COVID-19 deaths today.
“Today the government’s message is: ‘Grab your coronavirus and if it is serious, there is intensive care.” Urbez said that this fulfills our policy today.
Reporting by Lysandra Paraguasu in Brasilia and Pedro Fonseca in Rio de Janeiro; Writing by Anthony Bodle; Editing by Brad Haynes and Leslie Adler