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Brazil poses global health threat as its hospitals buckle under COVID-19, experts warn

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  • Brazil poses global health threat as its hospitals buckle under COVID-19, experts warn

    Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/brazil...reat-1.5980507

    Brazil poses global health threat as its hospitals buckle under COVID-19, experts warn
    Scientists predict Brazil could surpass U.S. death toll by July despite smaller population
    Steven D'Souza ? CBC News ? Posted: Apr 09, 2021 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 5 hours ago

    Inside a COVID-19 unit in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, Dr. Tarsila Vieceli said she is seeing first hand the collapse of the country's health-care system under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Heart attack and car accident victims, she said, aren't guaranteed an ICU bed and surgeries are being cancelled. There's a waiting list for ICU beds that are filled with COVID-19 patients that, unlike early in the pandemic, are younger and have no underlying medical conditions.

    "In one shift I did in February in the ICU, out of 10 patients I was taking care of, all of them were on mechanical ventilation ? six of those patients were less than 35 years of age," Dr. Vieceli said in an interview on Skype during a break in her shift.

    This week, Brazil set a new one-day record for COVID-19 deaths, with the health ministry reporting 4,195 dead on Tuesday. Scientists are warning the country could surpass the record wave of deaths set in January in the U.S.

    As of Thursday, Brazil had 340,776 deaths, according to a count maintained by Johns Hopkins University. Researchers warn that by July, Brazil's rapid rise in deaths could see it surpass the United States in total deaths despite having two-thirds the population.
    Global health threat

    With the virus still running rampant, inadequate vaccine supplies and a president who continues to be indifferent, experts in Brazil are calling for international assistance to stop what epidemiologist Dr. Pedro Hallal calls "a threat to global public health."

    Dr. Hallal, an associate professor of epidemiology at Federal University in Pelotas, said calling the country a threat to the world isn't overstating the problem. He said waiting lists for ICUs are a sign the country's health-care system has collapsed.

    "We are obviously a threat to ourselves because the virus is out of control and we break records every single day. But we are also a threat to global public health because we are pretty much a factory of variants," he said in an interview with CBC News...
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