The country is now widely viewed as the epicenter of the pandemic, with the highest number of daily deaths of any nation. On Tuesday, that number topped 3,000 for the first time, with 3,251 deaths recorded.
And this week, Brazil’s registered COVID-19 deaths will rise above 300,000 — a toll exceeded only by the United States. Ribeiro bleakly remarks that this number is about the same as the population of her city.
Worried that local health systems would collapse, and there would be many more deaths than the several hundred already logged by Palmas city officials, Mayor Ribeiro tried to buy time…
In more than half of the country’s 26 states, ICU occupancy rates have hit 90% or above, according to a bulletin posted March 16 by the Brazilian medical research institution Fiocruz. Brazil’s public health systems are “living through the worst collapse in history,” it read.