RIO DE JANEIRO | Brazil crossed the 30,000 dead mark for coronavirus on Tuesday after a 24-hour death record, but the country’s sharp increase in the disease has not prevented Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo from initiating deconfinement.
• Read also: All the developments of the pandemic
The country deplored an additional 1,262 deaths, the worst daily death toll since May 21 (1,188), the health ministry said.
Brazil, a country of 212 million inhabitants which represents more than half of the cases of contamination and deaths of the coronavirus in Latin America, recorded 555,383 confirmed cases of Covid-19, after an increase – also strong – nearly 29,000 contaminations in 24 hours.
These figures, which the scientific community believes are grossly undervalued, place Brazil in 4th place in the world for the dead, behind the United States, the United Kingdom and Italy.
However, with 146 deaths per million people, Brazil has an even much lower ratio than that of Italy (554) or the United States (more than 300).
The two most affected Brazilian states are Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, in the southeast.
In that of Sao Paulo, the evolution of the pandemic is particularly worrying, with the highest figures for both deaths and contaminations in 24 hours since the appearance of the first case of Covid-19 from Brazil in this State, February 26.
The country’s economic and cultural engine, the state deplored Tuesday night 7,994 deaths (+327) and 118,295 cases (+6,999).
The one in Rio de Janeiro, the country’s major tourist center, deplores 5,686 dead and more than 56,000 cases of contamination.
These two states, however, have started a process of deconfinement, which many experts have considered precipitous in view of the high rates of contamination.
Death at home
On Tuesday, the people of Rio returned cautiously to the Atlantic Ocean, especially the surfers, on the first day of a plan to gradually return to normal in a city tired of confinement that has been going on since the end of March.
“I think that here, in the water, there is no risk, it’s not like in stores,” explained César Calmon, delighted to have found “after 70 days, the good waves From Arpoador, in Ipanema Bay.
If it is not possible to lie down on the kilometers of white sandy beach of the city, swimming and aquatic activities are now allowed.
Beyond the pharmacies and supermarkets that remained open, only car dealers and furniture and decoration stores were able to resume their activities, as were places of worship.
The mayor of Rio, the evangelical pastor Marcelo Crivella, outlined the decline in his intensive care bed occupancy rate to 87% the day before, outlining his six-step plan until a “return to normal” in August. .
A figure that obscures the fact that deaths at home “of unknown cause” are exceptionally numerous currently in Rio.
In Sao Paulo, the beginning of deconfinement has resulted in more lively streets. The majority of the 46 million inhabitants of this state – as much as Spain – have reopened their shopping centers, real estate agencies and car dealerships.
But the mayor of Sao Paulo, Bruno Covas, has extended confinement until June 15, which has no coercive measures. Caution reinforced by the worrying figures published Tuesday.
Scientists have deemed the start of deconfinement to be hasty, a step that no other country has apparently taken while it was still in the ascending phase of the pandemic.
“The town hall should have waited for the curve to turn around, as did other countries that have started to cut restrictions. This is not at all the case in Rio, where the curve remains in full rise, “Paulo Buss of the Fiocruz research institute told AFP.
The confinement was the subject of violent confrontations between the governors of the states, which have decision-making power in matters of public health, and a president Jair Bolsonaro urging the population, in an insistent, sometimes provocative, manner to return to work to avoid ” hunger and misery ”in Brazil.
Again on Sunday, he had taken a crowd bath in Brasilia among his supporters.