Brazil broke its previous daily record of 4,195 deaths in Covid-19, according to data from the Ministry of Health on Tuesday – marking the highest number of deaths in the world in this 24-hour period, according to Johns Hopkins University. The new figures pushed Brazil’s total number of pandemics to almost 337,000.
In addition, nearly 87,000 new Covid-19 cases were reported across the country, raising the total number of infections to 13,100,580, according to the Ministry of Health.
Bolsonaro, who went on to downplay the seriousness of his country’s health crisis, dispelled claims he was to blame for the country’s budding death toll. The president has repeatedly opposed lockdowns and restrictive measures and criticized governors and mayors with insulting language for implementing them.
“They called me homophobic, racist, fascist, a torture, and now … what is it now? Now I̵
Several of Bolsonaro’s political opponents have accused him of “genocide” and used the term loosely to characterize the consequences of his Covid-19 response.
“What do I not get blamed here in Brazil?” Bolsonaro asked rhetorically in the video.
The Brazilian leader seemed to suggest that the pandemic was an invention of the media that could be solved by giving organizations state support.
“I can solve the virus problem in minutes. I just have to pay what governments have previously paid to Globo, to Folha [de São Paulo], The State of São Paulo, ”he said, referring to a nationwide television station and two São Paulo-based newspapers. “Now, this money is not for the press, but for other things.”
And he defied his position on restrictions, saying he disagreed with supporters of social distancing measures, arguing – wrongly – that the states that imposed tougher restrictions experienced higher deaths.
“What is the state that has locked itself in the most? São Paulo. Which has the highest death toll, proportionally? São Paulo,” he wrongly claimed.
Although São Paulo has the highest absolute number of deaths, it ranks 10th in deaths per capita. Inhabitant.
About a third of the deaths reported on Tuesday were in São Paulo, where 1,389 people died in 24 hours, according to state data – a record for the most deaths in a single day in any Brazilian state.
This comes despite the state introducing more restrictive measures a month ago, including closing down businesses that deal directly with the public, such as shops, restaurants and bars.
Bolsonaro also said locking would be counterproductive as people would be more vulnerable to the virus.
“I saw some recent studies that those who have a healthy lifestyle are eight times less likely to have problems with Covid,” he said. “You lock people in at home … what is he doing at home? I doubt they have not increased their weight a bit from last year to this year.”
“Even I grew my belly a little,” he joked.
The daily record count comes as hospitals and intensive care units in some cities turn patients away and as the entire country’s healthcare system is on the verge of a collapse. Brazil is struggling with several new varieties, some of which researchers believe are more contagious. Younger people appear to become more seriously ill than in the early stages of the pandemic, although it is unclear what role variants may play in this trend.
As of the end of Tuesday, 23 out of Brazil’s 27 federations reported an ICU occupancy rate of 80% or more. Of these, 15 are either collapsing or on the verge of collapsing, with ICU occupancy of over 90%. Mato Grosso do Sul is already over capacity, while only four states are below 80% occupancy.
Brazil’s vaccine rollout program has also been delayed.
Bolsonaro on Tuesday expressed interest in acquiring Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine during a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bolsonaro added that the shot should first be approved in the country.
“We end the communication with the other [health] authorities, including Anvisa, on how we can effectively import this vaccine, ”Bolsonaro said, referring to Brazil’s health regulatory agency.
Global Covid-19 cases have risen for the sixth week in a row, according to the World Health Organization’s weekly epidemiological update on Tuesday. Brazil, the United States, Turkey, France and India report the number of highest cases.