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Covid-19: Brazil surpasses Italy and Belgium, now ranks 5th in deaths per million inhabitants

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The proportional number of victims has increased almost 20% in May, and the lack of control has made the country surpass the United Kingdom, Italy and Belgium in a month marked by crowds encouraged by President Jair Bolsonaro.

On Friday, May 28, Brazil exceeded the 459,000 deaths mark caused by the pandemic, and consequently surpassed Belgium to become the country with the 5th-most victims per million inhabitants, among nations with at least 5 million inhabitants.

Brazil ranks 5th in the world in deaths per 1 million inhabitants. (Photo internet reproduction)

The calculation, based on Worldometer website data, shows the proportional results of deaths for each country, that is, it shows the total number of victims in relation to poulation.

In May, Brazil saw the proportion of victims jump 20%, from 1,794 to 2,146 per million. The rate of infections and deaths was faster than the global average, which increased 15% in the period.

It was also the highest increase among the 10 countries with the highest proportional balance of victims, and enough to place Brazil ahead of the United Kingdom (1,873 deaths per million inhabitants), Italy (2,085) and, now, Belgium (2,140) in the gloomy ranking of most deaths per million inhabitants.

It could have been worse were it not for vaccines, with the country reaching 43.4 million people immunized with the first dose, and 21.4 million with both doses. The progress has led to a significant drop in the number of hospitalizations and deaths among the elderly, but it does not seem to be enough to stop the damage.

In the most recent instance, last Sunday, May 23, President Bolsonaro promoted an event in his support in Rio de Janeiro, where he spent hours wearing no mask. However, hours later, when in Ecuador for the inauguration of new president Guillermo Lasso, he was wearing a mask.

The president’s stance in the struggle against the pandemic is being debated in a Senate CPI (investigative committee).

Is Brazil the country with the most deaths per inhabitant in the world?

Should the rate of infections and deaths be maintained, the Brazilian situation could worsen further in coming weeks when compared to the rest of the world.

Considering recent rolling averages, Brazil could pass Slovakia in July and then overtake Bulgaria in September – the Eastern European countries are ranked 4th and 3rd with the most deaths per million inhabitants to date.

But should the most alarmist concerns be confirmed and Brazil be affected by a 3rd wave, following the delay in vaccination and the emergence of new variants (which, according to scientists, arise precisely due to the lack of control in some regions of the world), Brazil may climb those 2 steps much earlier, in July.

The ranking considers only countries with over 5 million inhabitants. In the overall calculation, which includes nations with tiny populations and high death rates (such as San Marino), Brazil ranks 10th.

Experts from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations (IHME) estimate, based on mathematical models, that the number of victims in Brazil is nearly 50% higher than the official balance of 459,000 deaths.

Before this calculation, the IHME had estimated that Brazil could reach 611,000 deaths by August should the federal government’s negligence regarding protection measures against the spread of the virus persist.

Source: Valor Investe

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