(Sவ்o Paulo) Bars in S பாo Paulo are packed again, with officials in the capital, Brasilia, almost finished video conferencing meetings, and the beaches of Rio de Janeiro are crowded. Calls for social exclusion no longer seem like a memory.
Brazil is determined to return to normal, even though the death toll in the country has crossed 600,000, according to data released by the Ministry of Health on Friday. The reduction in COVID-19 cases and deaths is especially welcome as experts warn that the delta variant will create another catastrophic wave in the country with more catastrophes. So far, this scenario has not come to fruition.
The average daily death toll in Brazil was around 500 a month, up from more than 3,000 in April. Nearly 45% of the population is fully vaccinated and the elderly are given a booster dose. Our World in Data, an online research site, reports that a higher percentage of Brazilians are somewhat vaccinated than Americans or Germans.
The improvement in the situation encouraged the mayors and governors to allow spectators to the football games and to keep the bars and restaurants open until early in the morning. Some even consider the end of the obligation to wear a mask, which is a health measure that is often overlooked.
Marcelo Guerrero, Brazil’s fourth health minister since the outbreak began, suggested at a news conference on Friday that masks should no longer be mandatory.
The mayor of Rio has announced plans to bring the city’s big New Year’s Eve back to Copacabana Beach.
Threat of delta variation
Gonzalo Vesina, a professor of public health at the University of Sவோo Paulo, told the Associated Press in July that the delta variant, the most contagious, would cause “another eruption” within weeks. He was not the only one among the experts to sound the alarm bells.
Mr Vesina said a large number of Brazilians were affected by the gamma variant earlier this year – first identified in the Amazon city of Manaus – and that the delta variation may have reduced the spread of the exchange.
“This is not the result of a study; it is possible we can raise the face we see,” Mr Vesina underlined.
Some researchers are concerned about the potential for delta variation to spread. Among them is Miguel Lago, executive director of Brazilian health policy research, which advises public health officials. He believes authorities are taking significant risks by announcing more openings and celebrations, and Brazil could soon see more hospital admissions.
The epidemic has subsided, but 500 deaths a day is not good. And even half of the population has not been fully vaccinated. We do not know enough, now we have this terrible step to consider.
Miguel Lago, director of the Institute for Health Policy Research in Brazil
A monument on the beach
On Friday morning, at the Copacabana New Year’s Eve party in Rio within three months, the militant group Rio da Boss organized a memorial on its sand, with hundreds of white scarves hanging from the ropes to mourn the 600,000 people who have died since Covit-19.
Across the city, in a support group for the victims’ family members, Bruna Chavez mourned the loss of her mother and stepmother.
“Not only did 600,000 people leave; there were a lot of people who died emotionally with them,” M declaredMe Saves in an interview. “It’s ridiculous that people treat this like a few. It’s a huge number.”
In Brazil, many underestimate the severity of the epidemic, primarily Brazilian President Jair Bolzano, whose reputation has plummeted due to his government’s confusing response to the epidemic. The Brazilian president has not changed his position, including strongly supporting drugs that have proven ineffective against viruses such as hydroxy chloroquine.
Jair Bolzano continues to criticize operational restrictions adopted by mayors and governors, saying Brazil should keep its economy afloat to avoid causing further hardship to the poor.
On a live broadcast on Facebook on Thursday evening, he showed a series of newspaper articles about the economic crisis in Europe and the United States last year in an attempt to prove that he was right from the start.
Mayor Eduardo Pius says Rio will host its festival a few months after the New Year’s Eve party. He said social exclusion is questionable.
“It’s absurd to tell people to stand a meter away. If this is the case, I’m not going to follow the instructions in the first place,” he told a middle-class man on Monday. “Science has advanced, it has won, it allows us to open up.”
Brazil’s long history with vaccine campaigns, with wide adoption, plays a key role in reducing the spread of the virus. Nearly three-quarters of Brazilians have so far received at least one dose – despite spending months with Jair Bolzano, there is no doubt about their effectiveness and self-vaccination. Most of his supporters were also vaccinated.
Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Guerrero has said that all Brazilians between the ages of 18 and 60 can be vaccinated again early next year. More than 354 million doses will be available, he said. The population of Brazil is about 210 million people.
“The situation looks favorable and I assure you that Brazilians will have an effective vaccination campaign by 2022, which will be the end of the Govt-19 epidemic,” the minister said.
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