Brazil recorded 721 deaths from COVID-19 as of Sunday | Instant News

RIO DE JANEIRO, February 28 (Reuters) – Brazil recorded 721 deaths from COVID-19 as of Sunday and 34,027 new confirmed cases, according to data released by the country’s Ministry of Health.

The number shows a slight decrease after five consecutive days of at least 1,300 daily deaths and 60,000 cases. But the South American country continues to face a second, severe and stubborn wave that has now lasted more than three months.

Brazil has now recorded a total of 254,942 deaths from the coronavirus and 10,551,259 total confirmed cases. (Reporting by Gram Slattery; editing by Jonathan Oatis)


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Brazil is working to import more AstraZeneca vaccines to prevent bottlenecks to local production | Instant News

RIO DE JANEIRO, February 26 (Reuters) – Brazil’s biomedical institute Fiocruz has started talks with AstraZeneca Plc on alternative sources of the COVID-19 vaccine in case of possible issues surrounding the local production of the injection, a director told Reuters on Friday.

Maurício Zuma, who heads the Fiocruz unit that produces the vaccine, said it still aims to produce 110 million doses in the second half of this year, but the complexity of the production process and regulation in Brazil could hamper those plans.

As a result, he said he was exploring alternatives such as importing more active ingredients or ready-to-use dosages.

AstraZeneca injections were supposed to be a major pillar of Brazil’s vaccination campaign, starting with imports and then moving to domestic production, but their rollout was stalled.

“To produce a vaccine here is a whole process,” he said. “We think we can prepare the vaccine by the end of the third quarter, but whether we can successfully deliver it will depend on regulatory questions.”

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa has come under increasing criticism for being slow and making heavy demands on vaccine manufacturers.

“We knew we were going to have an accident in a process that would normally take years,” Zuma added.

AstraZeneca has agreed to transfer the active ingredient technology in the COVID-19 vaccine to Fiocruz to enable complete local production. But the agreement has not been signed due to the complexity of the deal, Zuma said. (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier in Rio de Janeiro Writing by Stephen Eisenhammer Editing by Matthew Lewis)


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Brazil is approaching 250,000 deaths from COVID-19 | Instant News

BRASILIA, February 24 (Reuters) – Brazil has 66,588 new cases of the new coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 1,428 deaths from COVID-19, the highest daily toll since January 7, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

The South American country has now recorded 10,324,463 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 249,957, according to ministry data, in the third worst outbreak in the world outside the United States and India and the second deadliest.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Edited by Leslie Adler


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Brazil will get the second batch of AstraZeneca’s 2 million vaccine from India on Tuesday | Instant News

RIO DE JANEIRO, February 22 (Reuters) – Brazil will receive a second batch of 2 million injections of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from India on Tuesday, biomedical agency Fiocruz said on Monday.

An initial batch of 2 million doses of AstraZeneca was shipped in January.

The Ministry of Health has so far distributed only 11.8 million vaccines to the state, including the initial batch from AstraZeneca and 9.8 million injections of CoronaVac.

To vaccinate the main risk groups – healthcare workers, the elderly, indigenous people and those with existing medical conditions – Brazil needs 104.2 million doses. That’s two per person for the 49.6 million people concerned, plus a 5% operating loss, according to federal government plans. (Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Written by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Peter Cooney)


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Brazil hopes to launch a new COVID-19 aid package in 3 weeks, sources said | Instant News

RIO DE JANEIRO, February 15 (Reuters) – The Brazilian government hopes to launch a coronavirus emergency relief package within three weeks, sources with knowledge of the plan said on Monday.

Congress needs to ensure the package, which will be worth 250 reais ($ 46.56) a month and last up to four months, includes measures to “compensate” the government, such as fiscal reforms and others, the sources said. It is unclear whether the numbers are per person or per family.

“It has to be approved within three weeks,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s important to fight the pandemic without breaking the budget, especially in an environment of inflation, unemployment … bloating debt.”

The Brazilian government’s lavish fiscal support package last year ensured the economy did not shrink nearly as much as many feared at the start of the pandemic. The move, which ended earlier this year, supports President Jair Bolsonaro’s support, and is seen as essential to protecting poorer families without any sign that the pandemic is coming to an end.

While saving lives and limiting economic recessions, the program incurs financial losses. Brazil reported a record primary budget deficit of 743.1 billion reais ($ 138 billion) last year, as crisis-fighting spending caused total spending to jump by a third and the economic slump hit revenues.

Congress is expected to be willing to expand the emergency measure. The source said the next few days would determine Congress to act.

The Ministry of Economy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

$ 1 = 5,3698 report Report by Gabriel Stargardter; editing by Grant McCool


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