RIO DE JANEIRO, December 18 (Online): Brazil on Thursday recorded more than 1,000 deaths from Covid-19 over a 24-hour period for the first time since September, according to a government tally.
The 1,092 new fatalities took Brazil s total from the coronavirus pandemic to almost 185,000 deaths — a number surpassed only by the United States.
The South American country also registered almost 70,000 new infections, for a total of more than 7.1 million cases.
New cases and deaths have been surging since November in the country of 212 million and things have been getting worse with the holiday season approaching.
The numbers had fallen after a long period from June to August with daily deaths over 1,000.
There are worries too about Brazil s national immunization plan which has been widely criticized.
The health ministry expects to vaccinate 70 percent of the population — some 150 million people — within 16 months.
Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro was widely criticized for downplaying the pandemic, even though he caught Covid-19.
And a day before announcing Brazil s immunization plan, he caused controversy by claiming he wouldn t get vaccinated.
He also discredited the CoronaVac vaccine produced by Chinese laboratory Sinovac, which is produced locally by the Butantan Institute with support from Sao Paulo state governor Joao Doria, who is expected to challenge Bolsonaro for the presidency in 2022.