First entry: Thursday, April 1, 2021, 00:16
Authorities in Brazil have located a new variant of COVID-19 in the state of Sao Paulo that is similar to the one first found in South Africa, the Butantan State Institute of Biomedicine announced on Wednesday.
Speaking at a news conference the day after a record 3,780 deaths were recorded in one day, Butantan Institute President Dimas Kovas said the patient with the mutated strain had no history of traveling to South Africa.
The South African executive has alarmed public health experts as there are questions about whether current vaccines are effective in combating it.
Brazil is also facing its own variant, called P1, which seems to be causing the record for infections.
“It is a variant similar to that of South Africa, although there is no history of travel or contact with travelers from South Africa,” Kovas said. “There is a possibility that this is an evolution of P1 towards this mutation in South Africa.”
Brazil is currently battling the worst phase of its epidemic, the second deadliest after it in the United States. The slow availability of vaccines and the lack of social distancing contribute to the country’s growing epidemiological burden, which is pushing the national health system to its limits.
Brazil currently accounts for about a quarter of COVID-19 daily deaths worldwide, more than any other country.
Brazilian President Zaich Bolsonaro, who has been widely criticized for his handling of the pandemic, signed a third executive order to disburse 5.3 billion reais ($ 918 million) in new loans to fight the pandemic 19.
The new loans will be used to boost the country’s healthcare system, the finance ministry said. The Ministry of Health, which will receive the funding, announced that it will use it in more than 2,600 public health clinics and to build more hospital beds.
Last Updated: Thursday, 1 April 2021, 00:16