People are photographed packing up busy markets in Brazil the country’s ongoing battle with Covid-19.
Brazil has recorded more than 10.9 million coronavirus cases resulting in more than 260,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The country recorded 75,000 new cases on Saturday alone with at least 1,800 deaths.
The country is facing its deadliest range since the pandemic began due to a domestically-grown variant of the virus dubbed P1, but a worrying picture continues to come from the South American country.
On Friday (local time), people were seen packing a market in Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, ahead of a two-week partial shutdown of businesses. Starting Saturday, Sao Paulo’s bars and restaurants will operate via delivery only, while malls and non-essential businesses will be closed.
Antonio, a salesman on the Praça da República square in downtown Sao Paulo, told The Telegraph he is still selling “a lot” despite seeing fewer people than before the pandemic.
“Last time we had [stricter quarantine measures] there are still people here with their kiosks, ”he told the newspaper.
“So, I’ll probably be here too, somehow I need to get some money”.
Pandemic versus war
Sao Paulo’s Health Secretary, Jean Gorinchteyn, compared the pandemic situation to war.
“We are in the biggest pandemic crisis in our country, with a large number of deaths every day,” he said.
“This is unacceptable, we have to contain the speed at which the pandemic is spreading in our midst.”
The lockdown has angered Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has said “you can’t panic”.
Mr Bolsonaro has long been trying to reduce the severity of the virus.
“People will die of hunger and depression,” he said, referring to the tight lockdown measures. But while the country’s leaders are downplaying the virus, the body count is growing.
HORRIBLE # COVID-19 the death curve in one of Brazil’s richest cities – Porto Alegre is the capital of Rio Grande do Sul – with many top hospitals ranked better than most of the US🏥. And their health system is still collapsing # P1.
Imagine now the remaining 🇧🇷.
– Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) March 6, 2021
The president urged Brazilians to stop complaining
On Thursday (local time), President Bolsonaro urged Brazilians to “stop whining”.
“Just whining and whining,” he said. “How much longer will the crying last?
“How much longer are you going to stay home and shut everything down? Nobody can take it anymore. We regret the death, again, but we need a solution.”
The comments came after Brazil had a record for Covid-19 deaths for two consecutive days.
The government is reportedly working to get additional vaccines from more suppliers.
The Health Ministry is negotiating to purchase an additional two million doses of Pfizer in May, 16.9 million doses of Janssen in September and 63 million doses of Moderna vaccine in January 2022, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.
The government-affiliated medical institute Fiocruz said it had detected variants of the Amazon, UK and South Africa spreading in various places across the country.
“We have the worst prospects for a pandemic since it started,” said Gonzalo Vecina Neto, a medical doctor and former head of Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa.
“Mutations are the result of increased viral reproduction. The more virus there is, the faster it is transmitted, the more mutations we have.”
Governors and state doctors complained that the federal government was mismanaging the coronavirus crisis, as Bolsonaro had downplayed its severity and opposed the lockdown.
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