The Brazilian Ministry of Health announced on Friday that another 2,216 patients with COVID-19 had died in the past 24 hours and 85,149 cases of SARS-CoV-2 had been confirmed.
The official pandemic of the new coronavirus in the largest country in Latin America has so far reached 484,235 deaths out of a total of 17,296,118 infections. Brazil is estimated to have more than half a million dead by the month, as many experts sound the alarm for a third, even more deadly, pandemic.
The country of 212 million people has the second highest number of casualties in the world, behind only the United States, and the third highest number of recorded cases worldwide, after those of the United States and India.
The president of the country, the far right Zaich Bolsonarou, who is fighting for the way he dealt with the health crisis, suddenly appeared yesterday on a commercial flight, some of the passengers of which applauded him and took a selfie with him, but others criticized him harshly – if he needed proof of how much he divides Brazilians.
During a tour of the state of Espirito Santo for the inauguration of the airport under construction, Mr. Bolsonarou appeared at the entrance of an aircraft that was preparing to take off. A video posted on his official Twitter account shows smiling passengers and crew cheering him on and taking pictures with him.
But in other videos uploaded to social networking sites, the mood is very different: passengers raise their middle finger at the head of state, shout “Bolsonaro out” or “morle, you are committing genocide”.
The head of state, who has been repeatedly accused of “genocide” by his critics, took off his mask to throw “whoever shouts ‘Bolsonaro’ should probably travel on the back of no donkey”.
Brazilian media reported that the president took off his mask inside the airport, violating the measures implemented.
The head of state never stopped questioning the usefulness of the masks, the measures of the chosen social distance, the restrictions and lockdowns imposed by governors and mayors to stop the spread of the pandemic. He also advertised hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that proved completely ineffective against COVID-19, and went so far as to cast doubt on vaccines before turning one hundred and eighty degrees. His popularity has dropped dramatically because of the bizarre way he handled the health crisis.
The Brazilian president also welcomed the Copa America, a major Latin American football event, with open arms, insisting on defying warnings from epidemiologists. His opponents are calling for demonstrations tomorrow Sunday, the day of the opening match.
Argentina: The death toll exceeded 84,000
The Argentine Ministry of Health announced yesterday Friday that another 689 patients with COVID-19 died in the previous 24 hours, with the death toll of the new coronavirus exceeding the limit of 84,000, reaching 84,628 dead so far.
During the same period, almost 27,000 – exactly 26,934 – SARS-CoV-2 cases were confirmed, bringing the total number of people infected with the virus since March 2020 to 4,093,090.
Until yesterday, the Latin American country had received 15.73 million doses of vaccine against COVID-19 since December 29, when the national immunization campaign began. It has taken at least one dose in 25% of the population of 45 million. The government is stepping up its efforts “to vaccinate, vaccinate and vaccinate,” Health Minister Carla Witsotti said yesterday.
Argentina is being hit by a second wave attributed mainly to the Gamma variant, the variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 originally identified in Brazil.
President Alberto Fernandez earlier announced his decision to extend restrictive measures to prevent the spread of the virus until at least June 25.
“We will extend the decision we have already made,” the center-left leader said during a rally at a health center, adding that a bill would soon be tabled in parliament to “agree” on new measures.
Current restrictions include a ban on night traffic, the use of public transport only by employees who are deemed absolutely necessary to go to work and e-learning.
Chile: Nearly 8,000 cases and another 133 deaths in 24 hours
The Chilean Ministry of Health announced yesterday Friday that another 7,972 cases of SARS-CoV-2 were confirmed in the previous 24 hours and another 133 patients with COVID-19 died.
The pandemic of the new coronavirus in the Latin American country has so far reached 30,472 deaths out of a total of 1,461,419 infections.
Experts point out that there is an increase in infections among people under the age of 50, especially among people who have not yet been vaccinated, which has led to a large increase in hospital admissions. The bed occupancy rate in the intensive care unit (ICU) reached 96% on Thursday.
Trade unionists point out that medical and healthcare staff are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the huge workload.
The government announced on Thursday a new absolute lockdown in the metropolitan area of Santiago, the capital of seven million inhabitants, from today Saturday. This is the third time in 14 months of the health crisis that the authorities are taking this measure.
Chile is hit by a new wave despite being one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of immunization against COVID-19, with 57% of the target population of the national campaign already fully vaccinated, time of winter of the southern hemisphere.
Cuba: Nearly 1,300 cases and another 8 deaths in 24 hours
The Cuban Ministry of Health announced on Friday that another 8 patients with COVID-19 had died in the past 24 hours, while 1,288 cases of SARS-CoV-2 had been confirmed.
The death toll from the new coronavirus pandemic has so far reached 1,065 dead out of a total of 154,866 infections on the Caribbean island.
The capital Havana recorded 460 infections. The incidence rate has dropped to 314.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. But it remains the highest in the country.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health, which has been conducting mass immunizations of the population since May 12 with the two most advanced candidate vaccines developed domestically – Soberana 2 and Abdala – in seven Havana municipalities, announced that the day after tomorrow, Monday throughout the capital. Almost the entire population (2.2 million) is expected to be immunized by the end of July.
The campaign continues in the provinces of Pinar del Rio and Matanza (west), in the province of Santiago de Cuba (east) and in Isla de Juventud. As of yesterday, 3.1 million Cubans had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Germany: 129 deaths and over 1,900 cases in 24 hours
Confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in Germany rose by 1,911 in the past 24 hours to 3,713,480, according to data released Saturday by the Robert Koch Institute, the country’s epidemiological watchdog.
At the same time, another 129 patients with COVID-19 succumbed, increasing the death toll from the new coronavirus pandemic to 89,816 at this stage, according to the same source.
Tunisia: Over 2,100 cases and 60 deaths in 24 hours
The Tunisian Ministry of Health announced yesterday Friday that 2,161 cases of SARS-CoV-2 have been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 364,819.
The deaths of another 60 patients with COVID-19 have raised the death toll from a new coronavirus pandemic in the North African country to 13,365 so far, according to official figures.
Since the start of a mass immunization campaign in Tunisia on March 13, at least 1.27 million people have received a dose of the vaccine, while 352,873 have received both, always according to ministry figures.