More than 600,000 people have died from Covid-19 in a year and a half of the pandemic in Brazil, the Ministry of Health announced on Friday, October 8.

The latest official report from the ministry reports 600,425 deaths – including 615 in the past 24 hours – and 21,550,730 cases of Covid-19 infection, figures largely underestimated according to specialists.

Brazil, a country of 213 million inhabitants, deplores the second worst record in the world after the United States, which has passed the 700,000 dead mark with a population 35% higher.

“The situation has improved, but we must not let our guard down”, Margareth Dalcolmo, pulmonologist and researcher at Fiocruz, Brazil’s benchmark public health institute, told AFP.

According to her, the pandemic will be brought under control in Brazil when“about 80% of the population will be fully immune”. To date, 71.4% of Brazilians have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but only 45.9% have completed the full immunization cycle. According to a recent study by Fiocruz, 11% of people who received a first dose are late for the second, while the elderly begin to receive a third injection.

The average daily death rate fell below the 1,000 mark at the end of July, before falling gradually in August to stabilize around 500 in September. “The situation remains worrying”, tempers with AFP Domingos Alves, researcher of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Sao Paulo (USP) in Ribeirao Preto. According to him, Brazil is not immune to an explosion of cases because of the Delta variant, already the majority in many regions of the country, or the appearance of new vaccine-resistant variants.

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