Brazil becomes third country to record 4,000 deaths in one day
razil has for the first time reported a 24-hour tally of Covid-19 deaths that exceeds 4,000, becoming the third nation to go above that daily threshold.
Officials in the country are reopening parts of the economy despite chaos in overcrowded hospitals and a collapsed health system in some areas.
Some 4,195 deaths were counted in the previous 24 hours, with the nation’s pandemic toll quickly approaching 340,000, the second highest in the world.
Only the US and Peru have had daily death tolls higher than 4,000.
Sao Paulo state, Brazil’s most populous with 46 million residents, registered almost 1,400 deaths in the latest count.
Health officials said the figure was partly due to the Easter holiday, which delayed the count.
Local authorities nationwide argue that numbers of cases and hospitalizations are trending downward after a week of a partial shutdown.
Miguel Lago, executive director of Brazil’s Institute for Health Policy Studies, which advises public health officials, said reopening is a mistake that he fears will bring even higher death numbers, though he thinks it unlikely to be reversed.
“The fact is the anti-lockdown narrative of President Jair Bolsonaro has won,” Lago said.