Hospitals in Brazil are at breaking point with witnesses likening them to scenes from a medieval plague outbreak as oxygen supplies run low.
More than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded within a single day in Brazil, with one doctor comparing the national crisis to a “biological Fukushima”.
The outbreak is overwhelming hospitals within the South American country, with scientists forecasting that the surge in deaths will soon surpass the worst of the record January coronavirus wave that occurred within the US.
Even though the population of Brazil is two-thirds of that of the United States, the country’s overall death tolls from the novel coronavirus now stands at 337,000, which is second only to the US with 555,000 fatalities.
This comes after 1.1 million people in private households in the UK have reported having long COVID, latest estimates show. The data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) defined the condition as symptoms that lasted more than four weeks and are self-reported, rather than clinically diagnosed.
While the US focuses on the rolling out of vaccines, the more contagious Manaus variant of the disease, as well as a lack of lockdown restrictions have left Brazil’s coronavirus outbreak to spiral out of control.
A total of 86,979 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Brazil yesterday, alongside a further 4,195 fatalities as a result of the disease.
Health officials claim that the large figures are the result of reporting delays following the Easter weekend.
But Brazil has continued to break the new records for daily COVID-19 deaths every week since the end of February.
A Brazilian doctor who is a professor at Duke University, Miguel Nicolelis, has said: “It’s a nuclear reactor that has set off a chain reaction and is out of control. It’s a biological Fukushima.”
Hospitals in the country are reported to be at breaking point, with witnesses likening them to the scenes from a medieval plague outbreak as supplies of oxygen run low.
As soon as next week, Brazil may end up breaking the record US seven-day average for coronavirus deaths, according to a model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) from the University of Washington.
This comes after roughly half all people in the UK now have antibodies against Covid, either through infection or vaccination, says the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Most of this will be through vaccination, with 30 million people in the UK having received at least a single dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The South American nation has overtaken the United States as the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic as President Jair Bolsonaro has refused to impose restrictions.
He was forced to carry out a reshuffle of his staff in recent weeks, which saw all three of his military chiefs quit their positions, as elections approach and the Brazilian people question his Presidency.
Last month he told crowds of people in Rio de Janeiro to “stop whining” about the coronavirus.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Bolsonaro said: “Enough fussing and whining. How much longer will the crying go on?”
But despite the ominous coronavirus data, government figures have insisted Brazil will soon be “back to normal”.
Yesterday, the nation’s economy minister Paulo Guedes said: “We think that probably two, three months from now Brazil could be back to business.”