Brazil has broken its record for new Covid-19 cases reported in a single day this Wednesday with 115,228 new cases. This increase is due to the nation’s continuous delays in vaccine distribution.
Brazil’s health ministry and data from Reuters revealed that the country now leads the world for the highest seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases and fatalities; they surpassed India last week, which is also struggling greatly due to a lack of vaccine distribution and access.
When it comes to the total number of infections, Brazil is currently in third behind the US and India with about 18 million cases, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Brazil, however, has now surpassed India in terms of total death, with more than 570,000 fatalities as a result of Covid-19; India has experienced around 392,000 deaths.
The US and other wealthier countries are seeing cases decline as more and more individuals receive their vaccinations. Other countries haven’t been so lucky in terms of receiving vaccines due to a lack of infrastructure and access.
According to the Brazilian Health Ministry, 12% of the nation’s population is fully vaccinated. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has faced constant protests and criticism from citizens and other political leaders over his lack of action throughout the pandemic and slow distribution of vaccines.
According to news reports, “a Brazilian Senate committee is investigating allegations of misconduct in the government’s response, particularly arguments that Bolsonaro did not respond to offers from Pfizer for its vaccine last year, instead making a deal to receive the more expensive inoculation from India’s Bharat Biotech.”
Bolsonaro and former US president Donald Trump received very similar criticism throughout the pandemic in 2020 due to their downplaying of the virus’ severity, and pushing for drug treatments that showed no evidence of preventing Covid-19.
Bolsonaro has been fined by several local government bodies for not enforcing local mask mandates which led to an exponential increase in cases within the past year.
He said earlier this month while speaking in Sao Paulo that “those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should not have to wear a mask. Whoever is against this proposal is because they don’t believe in science, because if they are vaccinated, there is no way the virus can be transmitted.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.