Rio de Janeiro overtakes São Paulo in Covid-19 deaths

. Feb 05, 2021
Rio de Janeiro overtakes São Paulo in Covid-19 deaths Beachgoers on Copacabana's sidewalk, wearing facemasks. Photo: Salty View/Shutterstock

Rio de Janeiro is now the Brazilian city with the highest number of Covid-19 deaths, surpassing São Paulo this week. On February 4, the so-called “Wonderful City” reached a total of 17,535 deaths caused by the virus, against the 17,523 reported by São Paulo health authorities on the same day. The largest city in South America, São Paulo’s population of 12.3 million is almost double that of Rio de Janeiro. 

The figures also put Rio’s Covid-19 mortality rate at 9.1 percent, almost three times São Paulo’s level of 3.7 percent. 

In January, the surrounding state of Rio de Janeiro had 82 percent fewer intensive care beds available when compared to the beginning of the pandemic. In the state capital, ICU occupancy sits at 87 percent.

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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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