The recent rise in the number of Covid-19 infections in Brazil has led many experts to predict that the country will be the new heart of the world, while the Brazilian president is determined to lift the blockade.
The United States is clearly the center of the world at the present time, but one of the next centers may be emerging 7200 km to the south.
“Brazil is probably the next epidemic in the world,” said Luciano Cesar Azevedo, a doctor who spent the night treating Covid-19 patients in intensive care units (ICU) in São Paulo, the big city. most Brazil, told The Atlantic. “I think Brazil will have nearly 100,000 deaths.”
During the interview, Mr. Azevedo noted that 90% of the ICU beds in the city’s public health system were full. He also said Rio de Janeiro, where the health system is overwhelmed by disease, could become Brazil’s New York.
“The plague in Brazil is just beginning”
Tom Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said Brazil reported 3,700 new infections on April 23. Less than two weeks later, on May 6, the number more than tripled to 11,896 new infections in a day. The increase in Covid-19 cases in Brazil is “worrisome,” Inglesby told The Atlantic.
The nation, with a population of more than 200 million, as of May 18, recorded 15,776 deaths from Covid-19, a small number compared to the number of deaths in the United States. But the number of new infections and deaths is increasing rapidly every day, leading to Brazil becoming the worst-hit country in Latin America and one of the heaviest disease-prone countries in the world. Flu season has not yet arrived (the southern hemisphere is entering winter), and dengue dengue outbreaks in this country may break out like corona viruses.
The lack of testing results in Brazil’s official number of positive cases, which were 236,131 as of May 18, which could be 10 times higher, said Azevedo, who is also a professor of critical and acute care. at the University of São Paulo.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, one of the most active leaders in the rejection of corona virus in the world, is trying to promote the relaxation of measures and reopen the economy. This can accelerate the spread of the virus. “The plague in Brazil has just begun,” Mr. Azevedo said.
Like in the United States, the Covid-19 epidemic acted at the same time as the ever-stressing problem in Brazil. Brazil is considered one of the most unequal nations on the planet. The original Covid-19 epidemic seemed like an equal problem because it upset people’s lives everywhere. After a period of time, the disease revealed social inequality.
The corona virus tortures poor people who cannot afford to socialize, comply with the blockade, and even wash their hands. These people also have a background disease that makes them more likely to die from a virus. The irony is that in some countries, including Brazil, the rich are the people who bring Covid-19 home and withdraw into social isolation when the epidemic began to devastate a part of the poor.
“In Brazil, the first wave of infected people has recovered better. They are the rich who go abroad and are infected with the virus, ”Maria Canineu, director of the Brazilian Human Rights Watch, told The Atlantic. “Most of them are white people who can be tested and used by private hospital services. But recently, we have seen an increasing number of people infected, hospitalized and dying as blacks. ”
Poor Brazil miserable pandemic
Black Brazilians are concentrated in poor, densely populated areas like slums in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Many people living in these areas lack basic sanitation such as clean water, let alone soap or hand-washing water. So the simplest advice during a pandemic – wash your hands – is not practical for them. Some families have 10 or 12 people living in the same room. This makes social isolation almost impossible.
Many people working in informal occupations in Brazil, such as construction workers or street vendors, have to leave home to earn money. They only have two bad options: to risk their health to protect their livelihoods or to ignore their livelihoods to protect their health. “These are perfect conditions for the virus to spread,” Canineu told The Atlantic.
Residents of the favelas, where about 13 million Brazilians live, also largely depend on the community health care system. They often suffer from chronic diseases like diabetes, tuberculosis and high blood pressure. This puts them at high risk of serious complications due to Covid-19.
In Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, the public health care system is failing to keep up because of the rise of Covid-19 patients. When talking about the recent situation, Mayor Manaus burst into tears on television. “Social media videos have shown the desperation of families to seek emergency medical assistance. The bodies are stacked alongside patients in staff-deprived hospitals in Manaus, ”said Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum, an international human rights expert in New York, who analyzed the recent predicament of Brazil.
This catastrophic public health situation is affecting Brazil as the country struggles with a paralyzed government at the highest level. President Bolsonaro, who wanted to restart the economy, argued with local officials and the court to relax the blockade. “Some people will die. That’s what life is like, ”President Bolsonaro said.
In a country where a quarter of the population lives in poverty and the economy is still recovering from a major recession even when the country is hit by the next economic crisis, the poor are being hit. by both corona virus and its attempts to stop it. Brian Winter, editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly magazine, said “street vendors cannot work from home.”
Canineu also said that millions of poor Brazilians cannot receive government grants of around US $ 100 a month because of a lack of Internet, a lack of information on how the process works or a process problem. Canineu’s nail technician, a mother of two, has downloaded the application to register for assistance and fill out information. For the past two months, what this woman received was just a “Your case is under review” notification.
“She can’t go to work and so she doesn’t have the money to do anything,” Ms. Canineu said. “She is desperate.”