Brazil has the second highest Covid death toll in the world after the US, and the third-highest number of cases, at more than 16.5 million. The Brazilian Senate is holding an inquiry into President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic and the slow roll-out of the vaccine programme.
Brazil has been hit hard by the pandemic, with nearly 463,000 deaths. According to the World Health Organisation latest report today – Brazil, from 3 January 2020 to 5:40pm CEST, 23 June 2021, reported 17,966,831 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 502,586 deaths. Vaccination is going at a snail pace as the country is embroiled in vaccine politics, and parliamentary investigations about vaccine procurement, so far a total of 78,583,450 vaccine doses have been administered and counting.
The country registered a single-day record of 115,228 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday, as its outbreak shows new signs of accelerating despite long-delayed vaccination efforts finally gaining steam.
Brazil COVID-19 update 24th June 2021
Brazil has recorded the world’s highest Covid-19 death toll outside the United States, with more than half a million lives lost, according to the ministry’s official tally.
But while the situation in the United States and most wealthy nations improves thanks to higher vaccination rates, Brazil and many neighbors in South America this month have seen their biggest outbreaks yet.
Brazil’s seven-day average for new coronavirus cases and deaths is now the highest in the world, having surpassed India last week, according to data compiled by Reuters.
Brazil marked the milestone of 500,000 Covid-19 deaths over the weekend with nationwide protests against the government’s handling of the pandemic.
The country has been slow to roll out vaccines with only 12 per cent of Brazilians fully immunized, according to Health Ministry data. Efforts have accelerated recently, with certain states such as Sao Paulo predicting shots for all adults by September.
The government of President Jair Bolsonaro is under scrutiny for delays and alleged misconduct in obtaining vaccines, having failed to respond to early offers from Pfizer last year.
A Senate committee is probing allegations related to Indian Vaccine amid a wider investigation of the government’s response.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, Bolsonaro’s Secretary of the Presidency Onyx Lorenzoni said there had been no influence peddling in the Bharat deal and the vaccines were not overpriced.
The Health Ministry did not respond to request for comment about the allegations.
On Wednesday, the committee also called representatives of Facebook, Google and Twitter to testify before the committee as it weighs possible crimes related to misinformation online about Covid-19.
Meanwhile the Indian Vaccine manufacturer issued a statement in a statement, said its vaccine pricing had been consistently $15-20 per dose for foreign governments, a range in which the Brazil contract fell. Despite signing the deal with Brazil in February, the company said it had not shipped any vaccines as it awaited approvals and a formal purchase order.
In a statement late on Tuesday, the ministry said it had not made any payment to the Indian Company for its COVID-19 vaccine, called COVAXIN®, and the matter was under legal review.