More than 45,000 people have been killed in Brazil by the pandemic in the past month, but Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says there’s a “war” against him personally. In the coastal city of Rio de Janeiro, intensive care units are 95% full. Fifteen other state capitals are similarly verging on collapse, with ICU occupancy over 90% — a deluge of hospitalizations that has accompanied a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the country.
While Covid-19 cases are beginning to plateau or decline in many countries, Brazil is reporting record daily numbers. Just on Wednesday the country saw its largest daily jump in cases since the start of the pandemic — 90,303 new cases. “Here it became a war against the President. It seems that people only die of Covid,” Bolsonaro, who wasn’t wearing a mask, told supporters outside the presidential palace on Thursday.
The Guardian reports:
Brazil’s healthcare system has been plunged into the most severe crisis in its history, with doctors overwhelmed and patients dying while they wait for intensive care beds as the country’s Covid-sceptic president, Jair Bolsonaro, continued to spurn calls for a lockdown that would save lives.
As the daily number of infections and deaths soared to new heights this week, researchers from Brazil’s leading healthcare institute, Fiocruz, said South America’s biggest country faced an unparalleled “catastrophe”.
Covid intensive care units in virtually all of Brazil’s 26 states and the federal district containing the capital, Brasília, are now either at, or perilously close to capacity, the institute said, warning: “The situation is absolutely critical.”
“Things are desperate” — Brazil🇧🇷 stares into the abyss as #Covid19 intensive care units fill up in all 26 states, a surged fueled by more contagious #P1 variant, by @tomphillipsin https://t.co/KtoruwhEi8 via @guardian #GlobalHealth
— André Picard (@picardonhealth) March 19, 2021