In the last week, it represented 13% of all transmissions globally and surpassed countries such as Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. In addition, cases grew an average of 5.5% each day when in the US, which has the highest total number, the figure was 1.6%.
Brazil became this Monday not only one of the epicenters of coronaviruses globally, but also in the country with the highest daily infection rate in the world.In the last week alone, the South American country accounted for 13% of all new cases of contagion worldwide.
The last bulletin of the Ministry of Health released this Monday reported 13,140 new cases of COVID-19 in the last hours, making Brazil the third most infected country in the world. With that balance, the number of infections rose to 254,220, and surpassed the United Kingdom (247,706) in third place on the list of countries with the most cases of coronavirus.
What happened on Monday was predictable, since in the last week the growth of infections was exponential. In just a few days the South American country surpassed Italy and Spain in the total number of infected. The most affected according to data from Johns Hopkins University continue to be the United States (1,496,509) and Russia (290,678).
Until this Sunday, when 241,080 infected were reported, new daily cases grew 5.5% on average in the last week. In Russia the growth rate is 4.1%, while in the United States new infections grow on average around 1.6% daily.
According to Bloomberg, on average, more than one in 10 new infections worldwide can be registered in Brazil.
In addition, the level of concern increases as the authorities estimate that the trend is that the numbers of infected and dead continue to grow exponentially until July, when the peak of the incidence curve is expected.
“I never said it and I’m not going to say it, but we had our case studies of numbers of cases and deaths. Nothing of what is happening today is a surprise for the Government”, stated former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta during an interview with the Folha do São Paulo newspaper.
The official, an advocate of confinement measures to contain the outbreak, was removed just over a month ago by President Jair Bolsonaro, who rejects social distancing. Internal tension increased last week after the resignation of Nelson Teich, who succeeded Mandetta as Minister of Health without serving a month in office. The reason for the resignation was “incompatibilities” with the head of state in managing the pandemic.
“Three ministers of health in less than a month; less than 3,500 tests per million people; no clear federal guidance on how to deal with the pandemic; and uncoordinated and varied containment policies,” said Alejo Czerwonko, an emerging market strategist at UBS Financial Services, in a note to clients, and quoted by Bloomberg. For this reason, he stressed, “it is not surprising that Brazil” is a new epicenter of COVID-19.
Thomaz Favaro, a political analyst at Control Risks, spoke in this line , criticizing the lack of coordination between federal and local governments in the region: “Nothing compares to the level of chaos we are seeing in Brazil.”
“The way they are out of sync reduces the impact of the measures. Communication is the main tool that governments have to fight the pandemic, and with so many different messages, it reduces the power of social isolation and creates a fertile landscape for fake news and conspiracy theories,” he said.
While governors and mayors defend containment measures, the Brazilian president, who has focused more on the economic impact, rejects them and calls on the population to continue with their normal lives.
The government of San Pablo, the state most populated and affected by the disease, admitted that it is considering imposing a total quarantine because the social distancing measures adopted so far have not been shown to be effective as it already expects a collapse in its health system. .
This Sunday, Mayor Bruno Covas indicated that in the city, beds in the public health system with intensive care units are 90% occupied and nursing beds 76%. “The contamination rate remains high and the system is close to collapse,” he warned.
Bolsonaro, for his part, returned to lead a massive demonstration on Sunday, again challenging sanitary guidelines against crowds. Regarding Teich’s resignation, over the weekend he considered that there is no rush to choose a new minister. At the moment, the military general Eduardo Pazuello, who is not a doctor, is temporarily in office.
Mandetta said that he alerted Bolsonaro to the severity of the pandemic and told him that the number of deaths “would be surprising”, but that the head of state was more concerned with the economic paralysis.
Bolsonaro, one of the most skeptical rulers about the severity of the pandemic, has come to call COVID-19 a “flu”. In recent days, he maintained that the coronavirus “will infect 70% of the population sooner or later” and “will kill many people” regardless of the distancing measures adopted.