Brazil announces end of Covid-19 health emergency

Sao Paulo, Apr 17 (EFE).- Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga announced Sunday the end of the coronavirus pandemic health emergency in the country, in an official statement broadcast on national radio and television.

He said this was due to improvement of the epidemiological scenario in the country, the good reception of Brazilians to the vaccination campaign and the efficiency of the public health system.

“Thanks to the improvement of the epidemiological scenario, the broad vaccination coverage of the population and the assistance capacity of (health services), today we have the conditions to announce the end of the Public Health Emergency of National Importance,” Queiroga said.

He said Brazil would publish a “normative act” in coming days to establishes the rules following the end of the health emergency, declared on Feb. 3, 2020. These would allow the adoption of exceptional measures in the framework of the pandemic, such as the use of vaccines on an emergency basis or the purchase of medicines without bidding.

However, Queiroga said the end of the health emergency “does not mean the end of Covid-19,” as Brazilians must continue to live with the virus.

“The health ministry remains vigilant and prepared to take all necessary actions to guarantee the health of Brazilians,” he said.

After a virulent wave of infections at the beginning of 2022, with a consecutive record of daily infections, the pandemic has maintained a downward trend in Brazil since mid-February and the country registered the lowest number of deaths Sunday recorded in a single day at 22, since Mar. 29, 2020.

The slowdown is due, according to experts, to the progress of vaccination, which has allowed about 73 percent of the 213 million Brazilians to receive the complete dosage.

The end of the health emergency in Brazil had been defended for several months by the country’s President Jair Bolsonaro, one of the most denialist world leaders concerning the pandemic, repeatedly minimizing its seriousness and questioning the efficacy of vaccines.

However, despite the drop in figures, Brazil remains, along with the United States and India, as one of the three countries most affected by the pandemic in the world, with more than 661,000 deaths and 30.2 million infected by the virus.

Queiroga said in his speech that the Covid-19 pandemic is the world’s “greatest health emergency” ever faced in history, with more than 6 million deaths, for which he said he expressed his solidarity with those affected and the relatives of the victims.

He also praised the “strength” of the public health system and thanked the doctors and “all health professionals” who “tirelessly fought against this disease.” EFE


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