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  • Foto do escritorDr. Alexandre Barbosa

Brazil Passes 1 Million Coronavirus Cases With No End in Sight - Entrevista ao The New York Times

Deu no New York Times: o Prof. Dr. Alexandre Naime Barbosa foi entrevistado hoje pelo NYT sobre a situação da Pandemia COVID no Brasil, dia em que o país chegou ao número de 1 milhão de casos notificados

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Brazil passed 1 million coronavirus cases on Friday andapproached 50,000 deaths, a new nadir for the world's second worst-hit country as itstruggles with a tense political climate and worsening economic outlook. Second only to the United States in both cases and deaths, Brazil confirmed its first caseof the novel coronavirus on Feb. 26.

The virus has spread relentlessly across the continent-sized country, eroding support for right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro andraising fears of economic collapse after years of anemic growth. Brazil reported 1,032,913 confirmed cases on Friday, with 1,206 new deaths to take total official fatalities to 48,954, the Health Ministry said.

Friday also saw a new record dailynumber of cases, with 54,771, suggesting the outbreak is far from over. Brazil is likely tosurpass 50,000 deaths on Saturday, although weekend reporting can be lower. Even so, the true extent of the outbreak far exceeds the official figures, according tomany experts, who cite a lack of widespread testing.

"That number of 1 million is much less than the real number of people who have been infected, because there is under-reporting of a magnitude of five to 10 times," said Alexandre Naime Barbosa, a medical professor at the São Paulo State University. "The true number is probably at least 3 million and could even be as high as 10 million people.

"COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, arrived in Brazil via wealthy touristsreturning from Europe to major southeastern cities such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiroand has spread deep into the interior, reaching 82% of Brazil's municipalities, HealthMinistry data showed.Bolsonaro, sometimes called the "Tropical Trump," has been widely criticized for hishandling of the crisis.

The country still has had no permanent health minister after losingtwo since April, following clashes with the president. Bolsonaro has shunned social distancing, calling it a job-killing measure more dangerousthan the virus itself. He has also promoted two anti-malarial drugs as remedies,chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, despite little evidence they work.

Brazil Passes 1 Million Coronavirus Cases With No End inSight

The far-right former army captain's handling of the crisis has prompted Brazilians tobang pots and pans regularly outside their apartments in protest, but it has not stoppedhim from wading into costly political battles with his own cabinet and the Supreme Court, stoking fears of instability.

Pressure from Bolsonaro and public fatigue after months of ineffective state and localisolation orders has led governors and mayors to begin lifting restrictions on commerceand other economic activity. Public health experts have warned that loosening restrictions too soon threatens toaccelerate contagion and drive up fatalities."We think that there will be a new wave after the loosening of these measures," said.

Ricardo Langer, a doctor treating COVID-19 patients at the Maracanã stadium fieldhospital in Rio de Janeiro.A worsening outbreak could weigh on already-grim economic forecasts. The governmenthas said the economy will contract by 4.7% this year, while economists surveyed by thecentral bank think it will fall more than 6%.Latin America has registered 90,439 deaths, according to a Reuters tally, with nearly 2million cases.

(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Brad Haynes,Tom Brown and Cynthia Osterman).

#Coronavirus #jornal #infectologia

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