Society

Brazil Covid-19 deaths reach 100,000 amid reopenings and a dose of indifference

Confronting its most lethal outbreak since the Spanish flu a century ago, Brazil reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus at the end of February

A man runs past crosses and balloons placed by members of the NGO Rio de Paz in tribute to the one hundred thousand mortal victims of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil August 8, 2020. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
  • Brazilians who protested nightly from their windows in the first months of the outbreak have met the grim milestone with a shrug;
  • The virus took three months to kill 50,000 people in Brazil, and just 50 days to kill the next 50,000.

Brazil’s death toll from Covid-19 hit 100,000 this Saturday and continue to climb as most Brazilian cities reopen shops and dining even though the pandemic has yet to peak.

Confronting its most lethal outbreak since the Spanish flu a century ago, Brazil reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus at the end of February. The virus took three months to kill 50,000 people, and just 50 days to kill the next 50,000.

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Led by President Jair Bolsonaro, who has played down the gravity of the epidemic and fought lockdowns by local officials, Brazilians who protested nightly from their windows in the first months of the outbreak have met the grim milestone with a shrug.

“We should be living in despair, because this is a tragedy like a world war. But Brazil is under collective anesthesia,” said José Davi Urbaez, a senior member of the Infectious Diseases Society.

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He and other pubic health experts have raised the alarm that Brazil still has no coordinated plan to fight the pandemic, as many officials focus on “reopening,” which is likely to boost circulation and worsen the outbreak.

“We don’t know where it will stop, maybe at 150,000 or 200,000 deaths. Only time will show the full impact of Covid-19 here,” said Alexandre Naime, head of the Sao Paulo State University’s department of infectious diseases.