Tag Archives: Brazil

The US identified the first case of the Brazilian variant of the coronavirus | Instant News

The coronavirus variant first identified in Brazil has been detected in Minnesota, marking the first known cases in the United States.

Minnesota Health Department officials said on Monday that a resident developed COVID-19 after traveling to Brazil. Genome sequencing determined that the patient had contracted the P.1 variant while there.

Although the variant is believed to be more contagious than the original virus, there is no evidence to suggest that it causes any more severe disease, state health officials said.

However, the variant contains a collection of potential mutations can affect the ability of antibodies produced through previous infection or vaccination to neutralize the virus, According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But more scientific evidence is needed to confirm this.

The P.1 variant is the most common variant circulating in Manaus, the largest city in the Brazilian Amazon region. Recent research found variants identified in 42% of samples sequenced at the end of December.

That CDC says these findings suggest the variant may spread more easily or may lead to reinfection.

The variant is one of the few that the CDC is closely tracking. Others include variants first discovered in Britain and South Africa.

As of Tuesday morning, British and Brazilian variants have been detected in the US. The South African variant has not been found in the US, but has spread to more than 20 countries.

The COVID-19 vaccine makers say their vaccine still protects against emerging variants. New data from Moderna found that the vaccine protects against the British and South African variants, but the protection against the South African variant is not that strong.

Moderna does not have data on the effectiveness of its vaccine against the Brazilian variant, which is similar to the South African variant. But the company is exploring whether booster injections will increase the strength of the vaccine against the variant.

Leana Wen, an emergency doctor, told me CNN that public health officers are very concerned about the variants.

“We’ve seen what’s happening in other countries that really have the coronavirus under relatively good control, then these variants take over and they have an explosive spread of the virus, and then flood hospitals,” he said.

Wen stressed the importance of increasing vaccinations and genome sequencing tests.

All the viruses mutated so that the emerging variant was unexpected, Michael T. Stockholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and advisor to President Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force, said The Washington Post.

“This is the new reality of COVID,” he said. “This is now the beginning of the variant era.”


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UPDATE 2-Strike Brazilian truck drivers gather strength as oil unions lend their support | Instant News

(Added Oil Union)

SAO PAULO, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Brazil’s national truck driver strike gathered momentum on Tuesday as the major oil unions lent their support for upcoming action that could cripple the country’s economy, which is still recovering from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Brazilian National Confederation of Transport and Logistics Workers (CNTTL) on Tuesday urged its 800,000 members to join the Feb. 1 strike led by the National Association of Autonomous Carriers of Brazil (ANTB). Later, the Federação Única dos Petroleiros (FUP) union said they also supported the move.

A similar national strike three years ago paralyzed Brazil and sent shockwaves across its economy. While it remains to be seen how widespread the industrial action will be, a major strike will deal a crushing blow to the Brazilian economy.

Truck drivers are upset that the government-set minimum transport prices are too low. CNTTL spokesman Carlos Alberto Litti Dahmer slammed the government’s lack of support to improve the working conditions of truck drivers, and called on members of his group to join the movement. In a CNTTL statement, he said the minimum freight rates set by Brazil’s land transport agency ANTT were not sufficient for drivers to earn a living.

“We will cross our arms on the first of February,” the truck leader said, adding that the minimum freight price allowed to rise by only 2.51%, which is not enough to offset rising costs, including for replacing auto parts. “Minimum fare equals hunger.”

The FUP said in a statement that it considered the fuel price increases “against the law”.

In May 2018, a truck driver strike brought Brazil’s economy to a halt, as the world’s biggest exporters of agricultural commodities such as soybeans and poultry were unable to deliver goods to ports or food to supermarkets.

Striking truck drivers also caused the culling of millions of chickens, as feed failed to reach farmers. The strike ended after President Michel Temer gave in to pressure and agreed to set minimum haul tables. (Reporting by Aluisio Alves Written by Ana Mano Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Aurora Ellis)


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UPDATE 1-Petrobras Brasil says Rodrigo Costa Lima e Silva is leading the refining unit | Instant News

(Added details about Silva, company details, political background)

RIO DE JANEIRO, January 26 (Reuters) – Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, said in a statement on Tuesday that it had approved Rodrigo Costa Lima e Silva as the company’s new head of refinery, after signing out of Anelise Lara amid a push to sell refineries and make money.

With a career spanning 15 years at Petrobras, Silva took the job amidst the divestment of eight refineries, which is equivalent to about half of Brazil’s fuel production capacity.

The departure of Lara, who is leading the company’s efforts to sell its refineries, came on the same day the chief executive of state-owned power company Eletrobras resigned, saying she had lost confidence that the privatization effort would receive the political support it needed.

Their exit has some analysts questioning whether President Jair Bolsonaro’s government remains committed to keeping state-run companies free of political interference, a pledge that helped get Bolsonaro elected in 2018.It also raises doubts about commitments to sell billions of dollars’ worth of assets at an expense. reasonable price.

Political interference by the previous administration in Petrobras and Eletrobras saw companies register billions of dollars in bad investment decisions and corruption, leading to the largest corruption probe Brazil has ever seen, known as Carwash.

Bolsonaro won office on a promise to kickstart the Brazilian economy, but the coronavirus pandemic has derailed his growth and drained his popularity after generous state aid to fight poverty ended at the end of last year. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira and Sabrina Valle in Rio de Janeiro, Editing by Franklin Paul and Matthew Lewis)


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Ireland introduces hotel quarantine for arrivals from Brazil, SAfrica | Instant News

DUBLIN, January 26 (Reuters) – Ireland will impose a 14-day hotel quarantine for everyone arriving from Brazil and South Africa, and for anyone arriving without evidence of a negative coronavirus test, the government said on Tuesday.

Visa-free travel from both countries and from across South America has been suspended until March 5, said Prime Minister Micheal Martin.

The ministers signed the measures, aimed at stopping more infectious variants from entering Ireland, while extending the national lockdown to March 5. The quarantine period – 14 days – was announced later at a press conference.

Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Monday that the easing of the restrictions, which will eventually be implemented, will be very slow.

Covid-19 cases have started to decline sharply since rising at the fastest rate in Europe earlier in the year, following a four-week easing of restrictions and an increase in the prevalence of the more infectious variant that was first detected in the UK.

Ireland reported three cases of the South African variant earlier this month, which health officials said had been contained. No cases of the Brazilian variant were found.

The government says it will take several weeks to implement the system. Under the previously announced measures, anyone flying to Ireland must show that they have a negative / undetectable COVID-19 test from 72 hours prior.

Varadkar also said that although the government did not rule out expanding a hotel quarantine for all arrivals, as requested by most opposition politicians, it would not be entirely effective due to different rules across the open border in British-run Northern Ireland.

It will also create problems around the supply chain, he added.

Britain will announce on Tuesday evening whether it will carry out mandatory hotel quarantines for some or all arrivals. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin and Conor Humphries, Edited by Timothy Heritage)


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Brazil is approaching 9 million COVID-19 cases, death toll 218,878 | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: A patient suffering from coronavirus (COVID-19) is admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a field hospital set up to treat patients suffering from the disease (COVID-19) in Guarulhos, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, 12 May 2020. REUTERS / Amanda Perobelli

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil has 61,963 new confirmed cases of the new coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 1,214 deaths from COVID-19, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

The South American country has now recorded 8,933,356 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 218,878, according to ministry data, in the third worst outbreak in the world outside the United States and India.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Edited by Leslie Adler


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