Younger Brazilians are being hit hardest by Covid-19, with deaths in the 20- to 29-year-olds the biggest increase this year, according to a report released yesterday by the government-run Fiocruz Institute of Biomedicine.
The investigation found that the number of deaths from Covid-19 between the ages of 20 and 29 skyrocketed by more than 1,000% from the beginning of this year – before the start of the vaccination campaign in the country – until the first half of April.
Deaths between the ages of 30 and 39 increased by 819%, while between 40-49 years by 933%, according to the study.
Deaths and cases began to take off in January in the Latin American country, mainly due to the spread of the P1 variant, which was originally identified in the Amazon and is characterized as much more contagious. Vaccines are available slowly and restrictive measures are heterogeneous from State to State.
Fiocruz pointed out that the increase in deaths at a younger age could possibly be explained by the easing of restrictive measures or a more general “exhaustion from home confinement”.
“The need to return to work or livelihoods, given the deeper economic crisis and unemployment rates, may also be a factor,” he said.
Several countries, including Canada and the United States, where new, more contagious strains of the virus have spread widely, report that more and more younger people are being treated for Covid-19, in contrast to the pandemic authorities when the elderly were receiving the biggest blow.
According to the study, the average age of patients treated for the disease is now about 58, compared to 62 at the beginning of the year. The median age of those who fell ill fell to about 65, up from 72 in January.
The study showed that the health situation in Brazil remains serious. Fourteen States and the Federal District have occupancy rates of over 90% in intensive care units, while seven states are between 80% and 89%.
The Brazilian Ministry of Health announced yesterday Friday that in the previous 24 hours the deaths of another 2,914 patients with Covid-19 were confirmed, while another 69,105 cases of SARS-CoV-2 were confirmed.
More than 386,000 people have been killed by the new coronavirus pandemic since it began spreading across Brazil, according to official figures, with more than 14.24 million infections so far.
This is the second heaviest death toll in the world – behind only the US – in absolute terms.
Mexico: Over 400 deaths and about 4,000 cases in 24 hours
The Mexican Ministry of Health announced on Friday that 3,911 cases of SARS-CoV-2 had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, while another 409 patients with Covid-19 had died.
According to official data, the death toll from the new coronavirus pandemic in the country of 126 million people so far amounts to 214,504 deaths out of a total of 2,323,430 infections.
But the third heaviest pandemic in the world – behind those of the United States and Brazil – is undoubtedly underestimated. At the end of March, updated government data on excess mortality showed that deaths due to Covid-19 were at least 60% higher than officially confirmed.