Third pandemic wave hits as Brazil surpasses half million COVID-19 deaths

Brazil on June 19 became the second country after the United States to surpass 500,000 COVID-19 deaths as the South American giant grapples with a third wave of the pandemic.

The Health Minister tweeted, “500,000 lives lost due to the pandemic that affects our Brazil and the world.”

The Health Ministry reported 500,800 deaths, a toll that many experts say underestimate the real toll from the health crisis.

Last week the average number of daily deaths surpassed 2,000 for the first time since May 10.

An epidemiologist from Espirito Santo University warned, “The third wave is arriving, there’s already in a change in the case and death curves. Our vaccination (program), which could make a difference, is slow and there are no signs of restrictive measures, quite the contrary.”

The situation is critical in 19 of Brazil’s 27 states with more than 80 percent occupancy of intensive care beds — in nine of those states it’s over 90 percent.

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