Sao Paulo, Aug 8 (EFE).- Brazil registered 399 deaths linked to Covid-19 on Sunday, bringing the pandemic death toll in the South American giant to 563,151, although the pace seems to be decelerating at present.
According to the latest Health Ministry report, the country, one of those hardest hit by SARS-CoV-2, has suffered 20,165,672 confirmed virus infections, with another 13,893 people testing positive within the past 24 hours.
Although the statistics are usually lower on weekends due to less activity on the part of public institutions, the number of Covid-19 deaths and cases has dropped rather precipitously over the past month-and-a-half thanks to the effects of Brazil’s vaccination campaign.
However, health authorities have insisted on the need to maintain the obligatory use of facemasks and social distancing, given the spread of the so-called Delta variant, a highly contagious strain that originally appeared in India but which is now sweeping the world.
According to government figures, up through last week, Brazil had reported 287 cases of the new strain, which the World Health Organization considers to be of great concern and which is already being transmitted via community spread in several Brazilian cities.
The Health Ministry also reported that about 19 million of the Brazilians who have become infected with the coronavirus have now recovered while another 695,278 are currently being monitored by health authorities.
Meanwhile, ultra-rightist Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has consistently denied the seriousness of the health crisis, once again on Sunday promoted a new mass gathering with dozens of bikers supporting his administration in Brasilia.
On Saturday, Bolsonaro participated in another similar event in the city of Florianopolis, in southern Santa Catarina state.
The president, who has called Covid-19 just a “little flu,” generally censures mask-wearing, casts doubt on the efficacy of anti-Covid vaccines and all during the pandemic has recommended treatments that have not been scientifically proven to work against the virus, including chloroquine.
The Bolsonaro administration’s management of the pandemic is being investigated by a Senate committee.
In absolute terms, Brazil is the Latin American country that has been hardest hit by the pandemic and is in the No. 2 spot in terms of worldwide deaths, after the US, and in the No. 3 spot in terms of infections, following both the US and India.
Since Jan. 17, when Brazil launched its immunization campaign, about 50.5 percent of the population has received at least the first of two anti-Covid vaccine doses, and 21.5 percent have been fully immunized.