More than a half-million Brazilians have died of Covid-19, officials said Saturday, making Brazil the second country on Earth to pass that bleak milestone — but unlike some other large countries, Brazil is still grappling with high daily case rates and low vaccination levels.
Some 500,800 people in Brazil have died from the coronavirus, according to government figures updated Saturday, an increase of more than 2,000 in one day.
Brazil’s coronavirus outbreak is the world’s second deadliest, behind only the United States, which has logged more than 600,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Case counts haven’t relented in Brazil: Some 505,000 people contracted the virus in the last week, just 30,000 below the country’s mid-March peak, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
More than 2,000 Brazilians are still dying from the virus every day on average, compared to 3,000 daily deaths in early April.
Brazil has struggled with high Covid-19 infection rates, jarring death tolls and overwhelmed hospital systems for months. Some experts have blamed the country’s brutal spring surge on a more infectious new coronavirus variant first discovered in western Brazil. Meanwhile, the government has staunchly resisted nationwide lockdowns or social distancing rules, and President Jair Bolsonaro has mocked public health measures, downplayed the virus’ severity and derided Brazilians who are cautious about Covid-19 as “sissies.”