Follow us for updates
© 2020
Read the Story →

Brazil Sees 2,000 COVID Deaths in 24 Hours

A grim new milestone.
by Agence France Presse
Just now
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro takes off his face mask before speaking during the sanction of the law that authorizes states, municipalities and the private sector to buy vaccines against COVID-19, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on March 10, 2021. Until now, with more than 260,000 deaths by the coronavirus, only the federal Government was authorized to buy vaccines.
Photo/s: Evaristo Sa, Agence France-Presse

BRASILIA -- Brazil registered a record 2,286 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said Wednesday, as a worrying surge pushed the figure past 2,000 for the first time.

The South American country of 212 million people, which has the world's second-highest death toll in the pandemic, is struggling to deal with a crush of cases that has pushed many hospitals close to the breaking point.

The new daily record brought the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in Brazil to 270,656, second only to the United States.

The country also registered its third-highest number of coronavirus infections Wednesday, with nearly 80,000.


China Launches Virus Passport

World's Airlines are Trying Out a Digital COVID Travel Pass

Health experts say the surge is fueled by new, more contagious variants of the virus, including one known as P1 which is believed to have emerged in Brazil, in or around the Amazon rainforest city of Manaus.

Continue reading below ↓

"We're at the worst moment of the pandemic in Brazil. The transmission rate with these new variants is making the epidemic even worse," said Margareth Dalcolmo, a doctor and researcher at leading public health center Fiocruz.

"2021 is still going to be a very hard year," she told AFP.


'We Were Excellent,' Says Roque on Gov't COVID Response

You Only Live Once: Duterte Reminds Filipinos on COVID Protocols

Couples Engaging in PDA, Here's a COVID Reminder from the Police

Brazil has struggled to secure enough vaccines for its population, adding to criticism of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's hands-off handling of the health crisis.

The president, who flouts expert advice on fighting the coronavirus despite having contracted it himself last year, last week urged Brazilians to "stop whining" about COVID-19 and renewed his attacks on stay-at-home measures.

On Wednesday he donned a face mask -- a rarity for him -- to sign a bill accelerating vaccine purchases, fending off criticism of his handling of the pandemic.

Continue reading below ↓

"Let's trust our government, trust the health ministry," he said. "This is an administration of seriousness and responsibility."

But former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attacked Bolsonaro for his "imbecile" COVID-19 policies, adding "the Earth is round, and Bolsonaro thinks it's flat... a lot of deaths could have been avoided."

Individual cities and states have set their own policies in the face of the president's stance.

Vaccination began late in the huge country and remains slow, with 8.8 million people (4.2 percent of the population) receiving a first dose. 

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization, has urged Brazil to take aggressive steps, warning that the country could affect its neighbors and beyond if it didn't take the virus seriously.

Latest Headlines
Read Next
Recent News
The latest on the Royal Family drama.
The capital region is moving to cap rising infections.
Provinces can't be defenseless, they said.
The news. So what? Subscribe to the newsletter that explains what the news means for you.
The email address you entered is invalid.
Thank you for signing up to On Three, reportr's weekly newsletter delivered to your mailbox three times a week. Only the latest, most useful and most insightful reads.
By signing up to newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.