Fears Brazil’s mutant Covid explosion could be UNSTOPPABLE as daily deaths rocket past first wave peak by 30 per cent
8th March 2021

AN explosion of Brazil's mutant coronavirus strain is killing a third more people than the first wave – and experts fear it is "unstoppable".

The country is in crisis with victims dying in chairs as hospital have been overwhelmed – and doctors say they face a "tsunami" of new infections thanks to the more contagious P1 variant.

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Brazil has seen a huge Covid spike since the start of February, which has been blamed on a mutant strain that emerged in jungle city Manaus.

Average daily infections are 30 per cent higher than the devastating first wave and deaths are up by 32 per cent, O Globo reports.

In some areas the rise is over 50 per cent.

On Saturday Brazil recorded 1,443 deaths and more than 60,000 new infections.

Domingos Alves of the University of São Paulo warned worse is to come.

He said: "We are on the beach watching the third wave grow and get closer and, to defend ourselves we only have sand castles."

He demanded tougher lockdown rules and blasted the "meagre and ineffective measures of (social) distance taken by governors and mayors".


Prof Alves, known for his accurate forecasts, predicts Brazil will suffer 3,000 deaths a day by the fourth week in March, taking the total above 300,000.

He warned: "Brazil took three months to reach 10,000 deaths. Just last week we had 10,000 deaths.

"We have reached an unimaginable level of doom. It is very important that the population understands the risk."

It comes as the country's faltering vaccine program was hit by fresh delays.

Doses of the AstraZeneca jab are being bottled by local company Fiocruz, using imported shipments of the active pharmaceutical ingredients.

But a technical fault was found in the machine that seals the glass vials, setting production back by around 18 days, O Globo reports.

The scheme is supposed to deliver more than 100million doses by June.

Experts say Brazil's Covid policy is in disarray as anti-mask president Jair Bolsonaro leaves it to local leaders to fight the pandemic.

Hospitals are overflowing with patients and the patchy vaccine rollout is in chaos.

“What we’re living through now is much worse than what we had before,” Denise Garrett of the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington told Bloomberg.

“I see a huge storm forming in Brazil.”

Antonio Carlos Bandeira, a director at Brazil's infectious disease society, said: "We're going to continue to see a high number of infections and deaths for at least three months, because there's nothing to stop it from happening.

"It's not lockdowns being done in one place or the other that will avoid it. You would have had to have coordinated this long ago."

Last week we revealed how patients were left to die in chairs as Brazil's healthcare system buckled under a devastating second wave.

Hospitals have been pushed to the brink of collapse by the pandemic with critical shortages of supplies.

Mass graves have been dug, and refrigerator trucks have been wheeled in to store bodies.

Many health workers placed blame for the chaos at the doors of their own government, with president Bolsonaro telling people to stop whining about Covid.

Fabio Biolchini, field coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in Manaus, described the hellish situation on the wards as "chaotic".

He said doctors are working "endless hours" around the clock in wards packed at more than double their capacity.

Fabio told The Sun Online: "One of the most difficult parts was to see these people dying without dignity, sometimes sitting on a plastic chair because there were no beds.

"Patients were dying with dozens of people in the same room, with family members there crying beside them and all of them unable to do anything.

"To die in such a way is very undignified. Without privacy, without being surrounded by family. It was very sad to see this every day and many times."

The P1 strain from Manaus – which has been detected in the UK – is believed to be more contagious and may even be able to infect people who have developed antibodies.

Fabio added: "Even cities that have more resources are overwhelmed.

"So it is very scary what we are seeing.

"It is important to understand that what happened in Manaus can happen in Brazil and other parts of the world if people do not adopt the adequate prevention measures."

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