In a new report, the federally run Oswaldo Cruz Foundation informed that the rate of Covid tests coming back positive in Brazil skyrocketed from 3 to 37 percent between the end of December and January 24. The institute attributes the trend to the rise of the Omicron variant.
The record-high caseloads fueled by Omicron are a direct result of end-of-year family gatherings, researchers say. Moreover, as the vaccine rollout advanced to reach over 80 percent of adults, Brazilians began to disregard measures such as mask use or social distancing.
The seven-day average of new daily deaths is at its highest since October 2020, while the rolling average for new infections sits at 187,000 — the biggest since September and 2.5 times higher than the previous peak. ICU occupancy rates have reached critical levels in nine of Brazil’s 27 states.
But the silver lining is that the surge appears to be losing steam in states such as Rio de Janeiro and Amazonas, giving hope that the new wave will become a more manageable threat.