Abrafarma, an association of Brazilian drugstore chains, has reported that the rate of Covid tests coming back positive reached 35 percent in the week ending on July 3. It was the highest in 21 weeks and on par with early-February numbers, when Brazil underwent a massive surge in cases caused by the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The seven-day rolling average of new daily deaths, meanwhile, has risen by 63 percent over the past month, according to official data — and has remained above or around the 200 mark for 17 days in a row.
Infectious disease experts say the spike in Covid cases and deaths is a result of Brazilians’ abandonment of behaviors to prevent transmission, such as mask use and social distancing.
Moreover, Brazilians have been less diligent about getting booster shots than they were for the two initial rounds of vaccination. The Health Ministry says almost 112 million doses of Covid vaccines have not been administered because people failed to abide by the vaccination schedule.
Researchers from the University of São Paulo calculated the country’s transmission rate at 1.74 today, down from 1.86 on June 30, the most recent peak. This means that every 100 people infected with Covid will transmit the virus to another 174, who will then infect 303.
Recent data on hospitalizations for severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) shows that children aged under 5 (for whom vaccination has not gotten a green light from regulators) and elderly citizens have been the hardest hit by this new wave.