Brazil's coronavirus death toll surpasses 500,000

Ruben Hill
June 20, 2021

Experts say government Covid figures underestimate the real toll from the health crisis.

Experts are concerned about the slow rollout of the country's vaccination campaign, the spread of more aggressive virus variants and President Jair Bolsonaro's hostility toward preventative measures like mask wearing and lockdown measures.

Protesters took to the streets of every Brazilian city to protest Bolsonaro's pandemic response.

The country recorded an additional 82,288 cases of coronavirus on Saturday, with almost 17.9 million cases of the disease registered since the pandemic began, according to ministry data.

The government has faced fierce criticism for passing up earlier opportunities to buy vaccines. "Maybe this year will also be hard because we depend on the delivery of vaccines, which were purchased very late", he said.

"We are protesting against the genocidal Bolsonaro government that did not buy vaccines and has done nothing to take care of its people in the past year", Aline Rabelo, 36, said, while protesting on the national mall in Brasilia, the country's capital. Ultimately, the commission will propose a series of indicators and recommended actions, including a possible request to indict or impeach Bolsonaro, which could prevent him from running again in next year's presidential election.

The latest data suggests that just 11% of Brazilians are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, with 29% of the population having received the first dose of a vaccine.

Similar marches took place in at least 22 states or 26 states in Brazil, and in the Federal District of Brasilia.

On Saturday, thousands of Brazilian's protested against Bolsonaro and his government's pandemic response.

While organizers promised the largest demonstrations yet in more than 300 cities, gatherings in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia on Saturday morning did not appear to be larger than the last major protests on May 29.

A special Senate committee is probing the Bolsonaro administration's pandemic response, highlighting the government's delayed efforts to acquire vaccines while prioritising unproven treatments.

Brazil has nearly 18 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and an average of 2,000 deaths every day.

Gonzalo Vecina, the former head of the health regulator Anvisa, said the slow progress of the vaccine programme had and would continue to cost lives.

"500,000 lives lost due to the pandemic that affects our Brazil and the world", Marcelo Queiroga tweeted, without giving the death toll from the past 24 hours.

This week, new confirmed cases in Brazil accelerated to more than 70,000 per day on average, edging past India for the most in the world.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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