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COVID: Brazil death toll passes 600,000

October 9, 2021

An increase in vaccinations has slowed the daily death rate, but Brazil remains the second worst-affected country in the world.

Aerial view of the graves of COVID-19 victims at the Nossa Senhora Aparecida cemetery in Manaus, Amazon state, Brazil
Brazil is second only to the United States when it comes to COVID-related fatalitiesImage: Michael Dantas/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil on Friday surpassed 600,000 deaths from COVID-19, the Health Ministry said. The South American country has also recorded over 21.5 million cases of the deadly virus so far.

Brazil is second only to the United States when it comes to COVID-related fatalities.

President Jair Bolsonaro's government has been sharply criticized for mismanaging the health crisis and failing to implement appropriate measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Bolsonaro has often spoken out against lockdowns, aired skepticism about vaccines and regularly refuses to wear a mask in public.

Bolsonaro's COVID failure

New COVID cases in Brazil down, vaccination up

Nevertheless, there are now signs that new infections and COVID-related deaths in Brazil are on the decline as authorities ramp up vaccinations. 

Deaths are down 80% from their peak of more than 3,000 per day in April. And the country no longer has one of the world's highest daily death tolls.

So far, over 70% of Brazilians have received at least one vaccination dose while about 46% are fully immunized.

"The situation has improved but we cannot lower our guard," Margareth Dalcolmo, pulmonologist and researcher at the prestigious Fiocruz research institute, told AFP.

She said the pandemic could only be considered under control once "we have 80% of the population vaccinated."

Meanwhile, Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said on Friday the country has already acquired, or is in advanced talks to secure, around 350 million vaccine doses for 2022.

sri/rt (AFP, Reuters)