⚠️ UPDATE: 2,433 infections, 57 deaths

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The Health Ministry has just released the latest update of the novel coronavirus spread in Brazil. Here are the latest numbers:

  • 2,433 confirmed cases;
  • 57 deaths.

The country has registered the first deaths outside of the Southeast region: in Rio Grande do Sul (South), Pernambuco (Northeast), and Amazonas (North). Covid-19 lethality rate in Brazil is currently at 2.4 percent — way below Italy (7.2 percent) and in line with China (2.3 percent). 

Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said the government will monitor situations in Acre — one of the least-populated states with a high rate of infected people per 1 million inhabitants— and Ceará, which has seen a jump in coronavirus cases in recent days. “We shall verify if Ceará’s numbers are going up because the state has a well-structured health system, capable of triaging patients, or if something different is happening there.”

Studies have also been announced to combat Covid-19. Among them are the use of the same ventilator for more than one patient and the 3D-printing of ventilator parts that suffer the most wear and tear. The controversial anti-malaria drug chloroquine will be cleared for use in the treatment of the most severe Covid-19 cases. Treatment protocols will last for five days.

Brazil is not alone in allowing the use of chloroquine for patients in critical conditions. According to CNN, “New York moved to begin trials on Tuesday, procuring 70,000 doses of the drug and 750,000 doses of chloroquine, state Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”

Staying put

Mr. Mandetta dismissed reports that he would resign from his post, as had been speculated throughout the day. Being careful to avoid clashing directly with the president’s statements, he defended restrictive measures, but said states might have rushed into quarantines — without planning the next step ahead.

Moreover, Mr. Mandetta pleaded for unity between the federal administration and governors, saying the only way out of the crisis is for the entire political establishment to walk together in the same direction. “It’s not about political parties, nor determining winners and losers.”

—This post was last updated on March 25, 2020, at 6:04 pm.