Last month Brazil’s deadliest January in two decades

omicron Last month Brazil's deadliest January in two decades
Photo: Jair Ferreira Belafacce/Shutterstock

Amid the lightning-fast spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, Brazil saw a 24-percent rise in the number of overall deaths registered in the country last month. Almost 145,000 casualties were recorded, the most for a month of January since specific measurements began in 2003.

Multiple indicators suggest the coronavirus shoulders much of the blame, with deaths caused by pneumonia and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) — both of which can be caused by Covid — going up. The hike of SARI and pneumonia deaths as Covid infections rise can be linked to Brazil’s testing insufficiencies. With many regions lacking testing kits, experts believe many cases and deaths caused by the coronavirus can go undetected.

That happened in June 2020, as The Brazilian Report revealed. At the time, state capitals with low Covid numbers were nevertheless battling a spike in SARI-related deaths.