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Brazil sustains low Covid-19 transmission rates. But trend could be reversing

. Oct 07, 2020
Brazil sustains low Covid-19 transmission rates. But trend could be reversing Photo: VICHAILAO/Shutterstock

For the first time since the pandemic spread across Brazil, the country has been able to sustain coronavirus transmission rates of below 1 for two full weeks. However, the data from the Imperial College London suggests that caution must be taken, even if the pandemic appears to be slowing down.

The transmission rate (R0) in Brazil currently sits at 0.99 — meaning that every 100 patients infected with Covid-19 is expected to pass the virus on to 99, who will then infect 98, and so on. Last week, the rate hit 0.95.

Furthermore, Brazil’s transmission rates are currently lower than several other major countries, as multiple parts of Europe experience a second wave of infections.

Among Latin American nations, Brazil’s R0 rate is currently lower than Argentina (1.07), Ecuador (1.3), or Colombia (1) — but above those in Peru (0.79), or Mexico and Bolivia (both at 0.95).

Different stages of the pandemic

As we have stressed on multiple occasions, the pandemic has not progressed evenly in Brazil, due to the continental size of the country. But right now, most of the nation is experiencing a stabilization in the number of Covid-19 deaths, with the 7-day rolling average of new daily deaths varying between -10 and +10 percent over the past two weeks.

One piece of data could, however, be concerning: average daily deaths jumped 330 percent in the northern state of Roraima, and 147 percent in Amazonas — the first state to face a healthcare collapse earlier this year. Burials have doubled in recent days, according to data released by local government, and the mayor of Amazonas state capital Manaus has said the region is going through a “reinfection phase.”

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Lucas Berti

Lucas Berti covers international affairs — specialized in Latin American politics and markets. He has been published by Opera Mundi, Revista VIP, and The Intercept Brasil, among others.

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