Socialist Worker

Global Covid-19 cases surge as Brazil faces health collapse

by Sam Ord
Issue No. 2748

Leading figures in the Kenyan government have been vaccinated. But few of its people have,

Leading figures in the Kenyan government have been vaccinated. But few of its people have, (Pic: @MOH_Kenya on Twitter)


Far from being steadily eliminated, Covid-19 is surging horrifically in most of the world.

On Friday the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) technical lead for Covid-19 said, “If we look back at the last seven days, across the world we've seen a 15 percent increase in cases.”

The most chilling example is Brazil.

Last week Brazil's health ministry reported more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases confirmed in a single day. It is the country's highest such figure since the pandemic began.

Over 300,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Brazil. It is the “greatest health and hospital collapse in Brazil’s history,” according to the public health institution Fiocruz

On several recent days, there have been so many deaths that crematoriums have not been able to keep up.

Far right president Jair Bolsonaro's covid denial policies have turned the country into a laboratory for producing new strains of the virus.

Two weeks ago Bolsonaro told people to "Stop whining. How long are you going to keep crying about it?

"How much longer will you stay at home and close everything? No one can stand it any more."

Variant

The P1 variant continues to rip through the country. Experts agree it is more contagious and potentially produces more severe illness than previous strains.

It also affects younger people more than other strains.

That’s a threat to Brazilians, but it is also already seeing rising rates in neighbouring countries such as Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

New variants imperil the whole world, making a mockery of the belief that any country just vaccinating “its own” people is a solution.

Mexico’s government acknowledged on Saturday that the country’s true death toll from the coronavirus pandemic now stands above 321,000. This is almost 60 percent more than the official test-confirmed number of 201,429.

Mexico does little testing, and because hospitals were overwhelmed, many Mexicans died at home without getting a test.

Mexico is led by the supposedly left wing Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. But his government has failed to implement effective measures against Covid-19.

Surges

Europe is also seeing surges. Currently in Germany over 20,000 people are infected daily. Health officials warn that the third wave of coronavirus could be the deadliest.

Western powers block move to lift patent rules for Covid-19 vaccines
Western powers block move to lift patent rules for Covid-19 vaccines
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This has prompted tighter border controls. However, chancellor Angela Merkel backtracked on plans for a lockdown over Easter weekend.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said, “If this continues unabated, we run the risk of our healthcare system reaching its breaking point during the month of April.”

Poland is seeing rising infections. Prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said, “We need to bring this third wave under control so we’re in a better trend two or three weeks from now.” But Morawiecki is reluctant to introduce further lockdown restrictions.

France’s health minister Olivier Veran said, “The Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating almost everywhere in France.” The health director for the Ile-de-France region which includes Paris said it faced an “exceptionally violent” phase of the pandemic.

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta said this week, “In less than 12 days, our admissions to hospitals have increased by 52 percent. The positivity rate is the highest since the pandemic began and the stress on our health care is unparalleled."

The WHO says there are still 36 countries that have not even started vaccinating because richer countries have monopolised vaccine supply..

Meanwhile Boris Johnson’s adds to this murderous handling of the virus. Unsafe school reopenings have boosted infections.

Then on Saturday he told the Conservative Spring Conference, “The general view is people have had quite a few days off, and it wouldn't be a bad thing for people to see their way round to making a passing stab at getting back into the office."

 


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