Sunday, April 18

The battle against Covid-19 in Brazil, Argentina and Chile

At Brazil, cemeteries operate 24 hours a day … And for good reason, since mid-March, between 2,000 and 4,000 Brazilians have died from Covid-19 every day.

But President Jair Bolsonaro has once again dismissed any idea of ​​national sanitary confinement, he even made a promise yesterday during an official event in Chapeco.

He continues to assert that the economic damage that a lockdown would cause would be worse than the effects of the virus, and he will not help local authorities who want to impose health restrictions:

“There will be no national containment. Some dare to say that the military should help certain governors with their restrictive measures. Our Brazilian army will not go to the streets to keep people inside their homes.”

Yet the benchmark public health institute Fiocruz warned in a report published Tuesday evening that the confinement was “absolutely necessary” to cope with the saturation of hospitals, which are in a “critical” situation in 24 of the 27 states of the country. country.

“The circulation of the virus remains intense throughout the country and the situation could remain critical throughout the month of April”, explains the report.

Brazil is the second country in the world where Covid-19 has killed the most, after the United States, with 336,947 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

In March, Brazil experienced a massacre, with more than 66,000 lives killed by the virus, almost double that of July, the worst month of last year and already 15,000 dead in the first six days of April.

Scientists have detected 92 variants of the coronavirus in the country, including the P.1, or Brazilian variant, which is said to be much more contagious. The vaccines are still effective, but the variant hits younger age groups.

Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, sums up the situation in America: “Last week we recorded over one million 300,000 new positive cases in our region and over 37,000 deaths. In fact, more than half of all deaths globally reported during the week last occurred in the Americas. “

In Argentine, President Alberto Fernandez has just tested positive for the virus even though he had already been vaccinated.

Faced with a new record of contamination in the last 24 hours, he announced, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, the establishment of a night curfew from this Friday evening for the next three weeks in urban centers. , in particular in Buenos Aires and its periphery, where a third of the 45 million Argentines live.

“Argentina has entered the second wave” of the epidemic, said President Fernandez.

In addition to the nighttime traffic ban, bars and restaurants will have to close at 11:00 p.m., one hour before the start of the curfew. Social activities in private homes and meetings of more than 20 people outdoors in public spaces will be prohibited.

Game rooms, nightclubs and party venues will be closed. Sports and recreational activities of more than 10 people in closed spaces are also suspended.

However, schools will remain open. Public transport will be reserved for essential workers and the educational community.

Argentina on Wednesday recorded a second consecutive record of new cases, with 22,039 units in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health, after 20,870 the day before. The total is over 2.45 million. In the same 24-hour period, the country has deplored 199 new deaths, bringing the total toll to 56,832.

At Chili, the authorities have just urgently approved a fourth vaccine, the Chinese CanSino Biologics, because despite the best vaccination rate in Latin America, nearly 90% of the population has been confined again for ten days.

Contamination is indeed on the rise, 8,000 per day. It must be said that the country had reopened its borders, allowed people to go on summer vacation, and failed to impose strict controls on people entering the country.

Mexico has already approved CanSino, as has Hungary in the European Union.

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