SAO PAULO (AP) – Brazil reported the 24-hour COVID-19 death toll exceeded 4,000 for the first time on Tuesday, becoming the third country to surpass that daily threshold.
Many governors, mayors and judges are reopening the economy, despite chaos in overcrowded hospitals and collapsing health systems in many parts of the country.
Brazil’s health ministry said 4,195 people had died in the previous 24 hours, with the country’s rapid death from the epidemic reaching 340,000, the second highest in the world. Only the United States and Peru have more than 4,000 daily deaths.
The state of Sao Paulo, Brazil̵7;s most populous state with 46 million residents, has killed nearly 1,400 people in the latest count. Health officials said part of the numbers was due to the Easter holiday, which delayed the counting.
Local authorities across the country say the number of patients and hospitalizations are likely to decline after a week of partial shutdowns.
Miguel Lago, director of the Brazilian Institute for the Study of Health Policy, which advised public health officials, said the reopening was a mistake he feared would raise the death toll, although he did. I think it is unlikely that it can be reversed.
“The fact is President Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-lock lecture has been victorious,” Lago told The Associated Press. Supporters of the president, including business leaders, will sabotage. “
Bolsonaro, who has long overlooked the risk of the coronavirus, remains fully opposed to the blockade as it damages the economy.
More than 90 percent of COVID-19 patients use beds in intensive care units in most Brazilian states, although numbers have been flat since last week. Hundreds of people still died as they waited for care and basic equipment such as oxygen and sedation was depleted in many states.
Less than 3% of the 210 million people in Brazil received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine, according to online research website Our World in Data.
Over the weekend, judges of the Brazilian Supreme Court began to tug on the reopening of religious buildings, which several local authorities have shut down despite a federal decision to identify it as part of a necessary service.
Some churches welcome the faithful on Easter Sunday. But some were stopped by the mayor and governor. Their reopening will be decided at the High Court on Wednesday. But some local councils, such as Belo Horizonte, voted on Tuesday to open religious buildings.
Additionally, on Tuesday, Rio de Janeiro Judge allowed the school to reopen as Mayor Eduardo Pase wanted. Hours later, the mayors of Campinas and Sorocaba, two of the most populous cities in São Paulo, agreed to reopen with a drive-through purchase system after a 10-day break.
Professional soccer executives in Sao Paulo said they expected to play the game this week after a 15-day disruption, promising local prosecutors to comply with stricter health regulations.