Many Brazilian states still far from Covid-19 peak

Many Brazilian states are still far from Covid-19 peak

Despite four consecutive days of 1,000-plus deaths — and seven days of the past 11 days — Brazil is yet far from reaching the peak of its Covid-19 infection curve. As a matter of fact, some regions risk a plateau, where growth slows but numbers remain high for days or weeks. Different studies have indicated late June as a possible date for Brazil’s overall peak. Some states, however, might take even longer to reach their worst moment.

Rio de Janeiro, as well as the northeastern states of Pernambuco and Ceará, are already experiencing the collapse of their health systems. São Paulo — which accounts for over one-fourth of all the country’s deaths — has also registered high numbers of cases and deaths for some time already. In the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, however, the local government announced yesterday that the state may not achieve its peak before the last week of July. Due to massive underreporting, the truth is that many states are unable to predict when the actual peak might happen.

Back in April, the Supreme Court decided that states and municipalities were free to define social distancing guidelines based on “local realities.” As a result of that, Guilherme Lichand, an economics professor at the University of Zurich, told news website UOL that “different states reacted differently and that generates different patterns, 27 curves.” For him, “if we combine these two factors — deaths per million and incidence variation over two weeks — we get a more precise scenario.” Yesterday, Brazil broke into the top 5 countries with the most Covid-19 deaths — passing Spain only 73 days after the first death was registered in the country.

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