Omicron makes Brazilians more concerned about Covid

Omicron makes Brazilians more concerned about Covid
Photo: Alf Ribeiro/Shutterstock

A new survey by pollster Quaest shows that the rate of Brazilians who are “extremely worried” about the pandemic jumped from 55 to 62 percent over the past month. The rise coincides with the surge of the Omicron variant — which has so far been detected in six individuals within the country. Data from Google Trends also shows a spike in searches related to the term “variant.” 

In reaction to the new Omicron variant, most Brazilian capitals canceled New Year’s Eve festivities and have cast doubt over 2022 Carnival celebrations. Infectious disease experts say it remains impossible to predict the impact of the new variant — and advise caution.

The federal government, however, has decided not to follow health regulators’ recommendations in favor of vaccine mandates for international travelers. Instead, proof of a negative RT-PCR test will suffice for entry in Brazil. Travelers who fail to provide proof of vaccination will be asked to quarantine for five days, although authorities offered no detail about how these measures will be carried out.

Brazil has already fully vaccinated 65 percent of its population — and over 80 percent of adults.