Brazil passes 400,000 deaths amid slow vaccination

The number of deaths related to Covid-19 has passed 400,000 in Brazil, the second-highest in the world, as the country continues to struggle with its vaccination programme. There were 3,001 deaths in 24 hours, after a peak of more than 4,000 was reached at the start of April.

A brutal surge of coronavirus infections this year pushed hospitals around the country to the brink of their capacities and led to 100,000 deaths in just over a month. More than half of those were recorded in 2021, while April has been the deadliest month since the start of the pandemic. Congress has opened an inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic. A Senate commission opened an inquiry this week into the government’s handling of the pandemic. President Jair Bolsonaro, who has frequently spoken out against lockdowns, masks and defended unproved drugs as treatment, is facing widespread criticism and his support has plummeted. But infectious disease experts warned eased restrictions would keep deaths elevated for months, as vaccines alone cannot be counted on to contain the virus. Meanwhile, thousands of families continue to suffer each day as their loved ones die.