Story at a glance
- Brazil recorded 4,195 COVID-19 deaths in a single day on April 6.
- That’s the highest number of deaths in 24 hours the country has recorded since the start of the pandemic.
- The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington forecasts more than 562,000 COVID-19 deaths in Brazil by July.
Brazil has recorded more than 4,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for the first time as more contagious variants of the virus drive a spike in cases and overwhelm hospitals.
The country on Tuesday tallied 4,195 COVID-19 fatalities bringing its total death toll to nearly 337,000, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Brazil also reported more than 86,000 new infections Tuesday, adding to its total of more than 13 million cases over the duration of the pandemic.
Brazil’s death toll is the second highest after the U.S., which has recorded more than 556,000 deaths.
While Brazil has a population two-thirds the size of the U.S., experts say the country could surpass the U.S. record for weekly average coronavirus deaths by next week, which peaked at 3,285 in January during the winter surge in January, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, the U.S. this week reported the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths in more than a year as vaccine efforts make progress, with just 222 deaths reported Sunday. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 percent of the total U.S. population has been fully vaccinated with 32 percent receiving at least one dose of a two-dose vaccine.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington forecasts more than 562,000 COVID-19 in Brazil by July.
“It’s a nuclear reactor that has set off a chain reaction that is out of control. It’s a biological Fukushima,” Miguel Nicolelis, a Brazilian doctor and professor at Duke University, told Reuters.
But as the outbreak worsens, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has continued to push back against lockdowns and other restrictive measures to curb the spread of the virus.
Brazil is also battling several new variants, some of which public health experts believe may be more contagious, including the P.1 strain. The strain was detected in the U.S. in January.
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