Brazil Surpasses 500,000 COVID-19 Deaths

Brazil surpassed 500,000 COVID-19 deaths — the second highest in the world — last June 19 as experts warn the situation could worsen.

Brazil reached half a million of COVID-19 deaths after it added 2,495 fatalities last June 19. The death toll comes second after the United States, which has over 600,000 deaths.

According to The New York Times COVID-19 tracker, Brazil has reported an average of 70,000 cases and 2,000 deaths daily in the past week.

The tracker also showed that only 11% of adults in Brazil have been fully vaccinated while 29% have received at least one dose amid a slow vaccination rollout.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Brazil has recorded over 17,900,000 cases — the third highest in the world, coming after the U.S. and India.

More contagious variants of the virus, including the Gamma variant first identified in the Amazon region, have fueled the surge in cases.

“Brazil faces a critical scenario of community transmission… with the possibility of worsening in the coming weeks due to the start of winter,” public health institute Fiocruz warned.

Despite the rising cases and deaths, many cities have relaxed restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus. Restaurants and shops have begun reopening while people do not wear masks.

The tallies come as President Jair Bolsonaro continues to refuse measures such as physical distancing and lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus.

Tens of thousands of people across Brazil joined anti-government protests last June 19, criticizing Bolsonaro’s mishandling of the pandemic.

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