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FRIDAY, April 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- After 100,000 COVID-19 deaths in just one month, Brazil has become the second country in the world to record more than 400,000 deaths from the disease.
April was the country's deadliest month of the pandemic, with thousands of deaths daily, and some experts are warning about what may happen when winter begins in the Southern Hemisphere, CBS News reported.
Fewer than 6% of people in Brazil have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the online research site Our World in Data.
A Senate panel is investigating President Jair Bolsonaro administration's handling of the pandemic, CBS News reported.
Shortly after the grim landmark was published, Bolsonaro said in a live broadcast on his social media channels that "a big number of deaths has been announced," adding that he is "sorry for every death." But he repeated his stance against social distancing measures.
"I pray to God so there is not a third wave" of the coronavirus, Bolsonaro said. "But if the lockdown policies continue this country will be dragged to extreme poverty."
Epidemiologist Wanderson Oliveira, one of the Health Ministry's top officials at the start of the pandemic, said he expects a third wave to hit by mid-June, CBS News reported. He told radio station CBN this week that the country's immunization effort won't prevent a new surge because many people won't receive shots before winter, when indoor gatherings and activities are more common.
Brazil's vaccination program, though a far cry from its triumphant campaigns of decades past, has slowed the pace of deaths among the nation's elderly, according to death certificate data published this week, CBS News said. Younger people remain unprotected, and have begun falling ill in far greater numbers as a more transmissible variant circulates in the country.
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