A second wave of Covid-19 is ripping through Brazil, pushing hospitals and ICUs toward collapse and claiming record numbers of daily deaths.
While a new variant of the coronavirus spreads throughout the country, many Brazilians continue to defy mask mandates mobility restrictions following the example of President Jair Bolsonaro, who recently said people need to “stop being sissies” and “whining” about the virus, CNN reports.
The consequences of that combination are deadly, experts say. “We are going through the worst-case scenario since the beginning of the pandemic. You just have to look at the trends in the average number of deaths,” Gonzalo Vecina Neto, a Sao Paulo University professor of Public Health, recently told Reuters. “This could have been avoided and the most important factor is gatherings.”
Brazil has broken its own record three times this month for number of deaths in a 24-hour period. On Wednesday, Brazil’s Health Ministry registered a devastating new high 2,286 lives lost to the virus. In total, more than 270,000 people are known to have died due to Covid-19, making Brazil’s the second-highest national death toll after the United States.