With a daily record of 2,286 Covid deaths at the worst time of the pandemic, Brazil on the brink of health collapse has seen a tough political tug-of-war between far-right president Jair Bolsonaro and his predecessor, popular Luis Inacio. Lula da Silva, acquitted of all sentences. The continuous increase in infections and victims is putting a strain on hospitals, now close to collapse: according to the latest budget of the Fiocruz Foundation, which depends on the Ministry of Health, in the capitals of 15 states the intensive care units have already reached 90% of its capacity, including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. The cities of Porto Alegre and Campo Grande are faring even worse, having already exceeded the maximum reception threshold, while the capital Brasilia has just reached its capacity in beds. Fiocruz’s latest report highlights the “overload and even collapse of health systems” in Brazil. “It is the worst moment of the pandemic and 2021 will continue to be really difficult” warned Margareth Dalcolmo, doctor and researcher in Fiocruz.
A scenario clearly highlighted by the numbers, with an average of over 1,600 deaths in the last seven days, yesterday’s peak at 2,286, for a total of 268,370 deaths since the start of the pandemic. A balance that makes Brazil, 212 million inhabitants, the second most affected country in the world, behind the United States. In terms of infections, 79,876 new cases were recorded yesterday, the third highest daily figure. The surge in infections in the last two weeks has been attributed to the spread of the highly contagious variant – called P1 – which would have the Amazonian city of Manaus as its epicenter. For Johns Hopkins University, with a rate of 128 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, Brazil is the eleventh country in the world in the ranking of the 20 most affected, behind the Czech Republic (288) and Great Britain (188). . Fiocruz experts are confident in the “miracle of mass vaccination or in a radical change in the management of the epidemic”, but recognize that today Brazil is “a threat to humanity”, starting with neighboring countries.
Vaccination hardly seems to be the short-term solution as the campaign is proceeding at a slow pace: so far 8.6 million people – 4.1% of the population – have received the first dose of the vaccine and 2.9 million also the second. The vaccines used are IL CoronaVac, from the Chinese Sinovac laboratory, and the British-Swedish Astrazeneca / Oxford. The health ministry of Brasilia said that negotiations are underway with other laboratories and acknowledged that “the national campaign is in danger of being suspended due to lack of doses”, as written in a letter addressed to the Chinese ambassador, published by the G1 website. . In the midst of Covid chaos, nationalist president Bolsonaro, who has always downplayed the severity of the coronavirus, grapples with criticism from his predecessor, 75-year-old popular socialist leader Lula, in what seems to be an early campaign for the presidential elections of 2022.
The turning point for Lula came on Monday from a Supreme Court judge who overturned his sentence for the apartment he allegedly received as a bribe in the Petrobras scandal, giving him the possibility of a return to the political scene. Bolsonaro has already accused the judge who issued the sentence of being “biased as he is linked to the Workers’ Party”, founded by Lula himself in 1980. The Attorney General is working on an appeal against the sentence, which would be analyzed by the Court supreme. In his first speech to the nation as a ‘free man’, Lula attacked the current president head-on for how he dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, urging Brazilians to “not follow his imbecile decisions and those of the Minister of Health”, defending the vaccines as a tool to stop the circulation of the virus. After the injection, scheduled for next week, Lula will resume her Brazilian tour because she wants to return “to fight tirelessly” for her country. Meanwhile, in his harsh ‘J’accuse’ against Bolsonaro, he deplored the absence of a government, the void of policies on the economy, employment, salaries, young people from the suburbs, health and the environment. With reference to his troubled personal story, after 580 days spent in his cell, Lula said he was “victim of the greatest judicial injustice in the 500-year history of Brazil”. After this speech with such strong tones, Brazil is hanging on the decision of Lula, a former metal worker and trade union leader, whether or not to run for the presidential elections of 2022 to return to the service of Brazil “born to be great”, insisted. former left leader.