Brazil’s coronavirus variant and surging second wave hospitals are overwhelming

As the new strain of coronavirus spreads across the country, many Brazilians continue to follow the example of President Jair Bolsonaro, who continues to reject the ban on the movement of the mask order, which recently said people need to “stop seizures” and “whiten” about the virus .

Experts say the consequences of that combination are fatal. “We have been going through a very difficult situation since the beginning of the epidemic. You have to look at the trends in the average number of deaths,” Gonzalo Vesina Neto, a professor of public health at the University of S સાo Paulo, told Reuters television recently. . “This could have been avoided and the most important factor is to accumulate.”

Brazil has broken its own record three times this month for the number of deaths in a 24-hour period. On Wednesday, Brazil’s health ministry registered a devastating new high – 2,286 people lost to the virus. In all, more than 270,000 people have been killed by Covid-19, the second highest national death toll in Brazil after the United States.

In 22 of Brazil’s 26 states, ICU business has surpassed 80%. In the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, hospital patients should line up to wait for a bed, as the occupancy rate in intensive care units increases by 103%. The neighboring state of Santa Catarina has already outgrown 99% of the business and is on the verge of collapsing as cases across the state increase.

A hospital in Florianopolis, the capital of Santa Catarina, is already out of capacity. David Molin, head nurse at David Spittle, told CNN that his team was tired and panicked.

Molina told CNN, “I came here during the first wave and it wasn’t like this. We’re completely horrified with our business rate being over 100%. There are so many patients who don’t make the ICU waiting.” During a telephone interview.

Health workers blame the gathering

Molina and other health care activists blame the recent spike in Covid-19 cases at most parties and gatherings that began around New Year’s Eve and continued through the pre-Lent Carnival holiday and continues to this day. Many of these were ignored in local city and state restrictions.

Last week, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Pace announced a new curfew for bars and restaurants across the city, limiting hours of operation from 00:00 to 00:00. But hundreds of people began to stay out anyway – according to the city government, 230 curfew-related fines and terminations were issued from Friday to Saturday alone. CNN affiliate CNN Brazil reported that in one bar, the party, which lasted seven hours, had more than 200 muscarless parties.

Many municipal and state health officials and legislators blame the Bolsonaro government for undermining their efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. And the country’s National Council of Health Secretaries (CONASS) has called on the federal government to take strict measures to support hospitals and bridge social gaps.

On March 5, 2021, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a health worker cares for a Covid-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Ronaldo Gazola Public Municipal Hospital.

“The health system in Brazil is on the verge of collapse,” Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria told CNN’s Becky Anderson in a recent interview. “Brazil does not have the national coordination to deal with the epidemic. It would be important for the president and governors to send the same message to the population, but this, unfortunately, does not happen in Brazil.

The issue of social distance measures and lockdowns has become Brazilian political football. Last week Doria ordered the closure of nonsensical business in his state for two weeks, while Bolsonoro claims that such sanctions drown the Brazilian economy and increase suicide and depression. He has made a point of pride by disregarding health guidance, congratulating agricultural workers at an event last week “like a coward.”

“We have faced our problems. Stop being sick, keep crying enough, how long will they keep crying? We have to face the problems by respecting the elderly, the sick, the chronic conditions. But where is the end of Brazil? If we all stop ? ”He said.

This week, Bolsonaro revealed that he has the “power” to declare a national lockdown – but he will never. “My army will not force people to stay at home,” he said.

Fear on the new variable

With Brazil’s hospitals overloaded and government officials split into lockout measures, the country has little protection against the coronavirus type that could be more contagious.

A printprint of a new modeling study by researchers in Brazil and the UK suggests that a variable first found in the northern city of Manaus late last year, known as P1, may be 2.2 times more transmissible.

This study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal, suggests that people with coronavirus may also be susceptible. Similar studies have shown that the P.1 variant can withstand up to 61% immunity from previous Covid-19 infections.

According to a study released earlier this month by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), a Brazilian health research institute, this type is now found in patients with Covid-1 in at least six Brazilian states. The P1 is also included in the US, United Kingdom and neighboring Venezuela.

The authors of the study wrote that “the emergence of a new type, which combines both the possibility of becoming more transmissible and the absence of comprehensive and explicit reduction and repression measures, is very worrying,” urging Brazil to encourage behaviors that limit viral spread.

“The diversity of these states in some states and the fact that they spread across the country, as well as the challenges posed by their high-level transmission, reinforces the urgent need to adopt non-pharmaceutical measures to reduce the speed. Or its spread and increase in cases.”

Traveling to Brazil during Covid-19: What you need to know before you leave

Felipe Naveka, a virologist and researcher and lead author of the study at Philox Amazonia, told CNN that the Covid-19 virus and various types and strains are likely to get stronger if not stopped.

“This is what the virus does: they evolve, they get stronger. The only way to stop it is to stop its spread, that’s why we need restrictive measures – there is no other way. Even if the government declares a national lockdown. “We need to stick to the population. The actions of each and every one of us will affect everyone,” Naveka said.


Hope could come his way in the form of a vaccine. But Brazil’s vaccination rollout was slower than other countries in the region, such as Chile and Mexico.

In January, health regulator Anvisa approved emergency use of the vaccine by Sinovak and Oxford / AstraZeneca. Since then, according to data from Brazil’s Ministry of Health, about 4% of Brazil’s 211 million citizens have received at least one vaccine dose, and 2.3 million have received two doses.

According to the health ministry, Brazil is in talks to buy Pfizer, Moderna, Jensen, Sputnik and Kovacin vaccines, although only Pfizer / Bioentech vaccines have been approved by ANVISA.

Bolsonaro has long promoted the Long Xford AstraZeneca vaccine, as it is the only one that will fire and discredit many other vaccines on the market, including Pfizer. Brazil’s health minister, Eduardo Pazuelo, also rejected Pfizer’s offer to buy 70 million doses of his vaccine.

“Pfizer says very clearly on this agreement, ‘We are not responsible for any collateral side effects’ – it’s your problem if you turn to crocodiles,” Bozonaro said in December. “If you become Superman, or grow a beard as a woman, or a man’s voice gets louder, they say they have nothing to do with it.”

Former Brazilian President Lula paves way for Bolsonaro's political comeback

But a study in the New England Journal of Medicine now suggests that the Pfizer / Bintech vaccine could “effectively” inactivate the P1 variant. The news came as Bolsonaro held a virtual meeting on Monday with Pfizer Global CEO Albert Borla and other officials to negotiate Monday’s purchase of the vaccine.

“I thank you for this meeting and we recognize Pfizer as a great world company,” Bolsonaro said during an excerpt of the meeting posted on his official Twitter account. “We want to close these deals with you in view of the aggression of this virus in Brazil.”

For now, Brazil’s failure to contain the virus is an increasingly cautious story for the world. Dr Michael Rhea, executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergency program, said in a briefing last week that he was concerned that the growth of cases in the country could be repeated elsewhere.

“It could be Brazil’s story and be repeated elsewhere, if we stopped implementing the measures as needed,” he said. “If we are not careful, countries will return to the third and fourth booms.”

For Molina, the bored Santa Catarina nurse, Brazil’s future looks weaker than ever.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think we learned our lesson,” Molina said. “We [health workers] Tired, tired and sick. We feel powerless. We need more coordinated action if we continue to do this again.

Journalist Marcia Riverdosa reports from Atlanta from S સાo Paulo and CNN’s Flora Charner.