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Coronavirus: Brazil becomes second country to hit one million cases

 

 

Brazil has become the second country in the world to confirm more than one million cases of Covid-19, as the disease continues to spread.
The figure, however, is believed to be higher because of insufficient testing. Only the US has had more infections, reports the BBC.
Brazil’s health ministry has confirmed 1,032,913 cases but experts say the outbreak is weeks away from its peak.
Poor communities and indigenous people have been particularly badly hit by the pandemic.
President Jair Bolsonaro has been heavily criticised for his response to the crisis. The far-right leader – who initially described the disease as a “little flu” – has repeatedly clashed with state governors and mayors who have adopted strict restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, shutting down mayor cities.
Bolsonaro argues the economic impact of the measures will be much bigger than the virus itself, a position shared by many. But his overall approach to the crisis has led to the resignation of two trained doctors as health minister.

What is the situation in Brazil?

As there was no national lockdown, states and cities adopted their own measures. After months of restrictions, some are slowly being lifted, even though the infection level remains high.
There is still concern that the health system will be unable to cope in some places, and that the disease is spreading faster in deprived neighbourhoods and remote areas, such as indigenous communities, where access to adequate care is difficult.
At the same time, there is a widespread wish to restart the economy as analysts forecast a contraction between 6% and 8% this year with millions of jobs lost. The government has introduced temporary payments to help people affected by the pandemic but large numbers are expected to be thrown into poverty.
Brazil’s health ministry has confirmed almost 49,000 deaths linked to the virus, but again the true figure is believed to be much higher. The US has the world’s highest numbers of cases – more than 2.2 million – and nearly 119,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the disease globally.

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