Brazil has witnessed a sharp spike in Covid-19 case and surpassed India to become the second-worst coronavirus-hit country in the world. Brazil on Saturday reported 85,663 new cases, its second highest number for one day.
The nation also reported 2,216 Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, the third day in a row that fatalities exceeded 2,000 in the worst run of deaths since the virus pandemic began a year ago. The Covid-19 cases have surged in the country since a new variant called P1, also known as the Brazil variant, was detected.
As reported by Times of India, Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, told a briefing on Friday that studies showed the new variant had several mutations that “confer increased transmissibility.”
Brazil has now registered 11,363,380 cases in all, passing India as the country with the second worst outbreak.
The official death toll has risen to 275,105 in the world’s second-deadliest outbreak outside the United States.
On Wednesday, Brazil had a record toll of 2,286 dead, followed on Thursday by 2,233 more deaths, the health ministry said.
President Jair Bolsonaro, who has minimised the gravity of the coronavirus and said he will not have a vaccination, is facing mounting criticism for failing to secure a timely supply of doses for the populace, with less than 3 per cent vaccinated so far.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that everyone in Brazil should take the situation seriously, adding that neighboring countries could be affected.
“Unless serious measures are taken the upward trend now flooding the health system and becoming more than its capacity will result in more deaths,” he said at a news conference in Geneva.
(with inputs from Reuters)