August 22, 20 - 2:39 pm - Reuters

Brazil’s coronavirus spread on stable or downwards trend, WHO says

The coronavirus crisis in Brazil appears to be leveling off, if not easing, the World Health Organization said, offering a chink of light for the world’s second biggest COVID-19 hot spot.

The number of weekly infections detected have stabilized, transmissions are slowing, and intensive care units are under less pressure, Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency expert, told a news conference in Geneva.

“In general, the trend in Brazil is stable or downwards, and that needs to keep going,” Ryan said.

There is a clear downward trend in many parts of Brazil. The question is, is this a lull? Can this be continued?

Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency expert
A graffiti made in tribute to health workers in Sao Paulo, Brazil. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

The latest figures show that Brazil has recorded more than 3.5 million cases of the new coronavirus and more than 112,000 deaths related to the virus. Both are the second highest totals in the world, behind only the United States.

Ryan urged caution, however. Brazil is a huge country and many parts of it are still seeing increases in the number of cases, while the number of daily cases is still around 50,000-60,000 and the death toll still over 1,000 on most days, he said.

But large countries like Brazil, India, and the United States getting the disease under control will go a long way to reducing the pandemic globally. “Any success in Brazil is a success for the world,” Ryan said.