Weekend Herald

Nations hit new records for Covid-19 cases, deaths

Disease surged even in some countries that have kept the virus in check


Ambulances filled with breathless patients lined up in Brazil as nations around the world set new records yesterday for Covid-19 deaths and new coronaviru­s infections.

The disease surged even in some countries that have kept the virus in check.

In the United States, Detroit leaders began making a plan to knock on every door to persuade people to get vaccine shots.

Brazil this week became just the third country, after the US and Peru, to report a

24-hour tally of Covid19 deaths that exceeded 4000. India hit a peak of almost 127,000 new cases in 24 hours, and Iran set a new coronaviru­s infection record for the third straight day, reporting nearly

22,600 new cases.

In the state of Rio de Janeiro, emergency services are under their biggest strain since the pandemic began, with ambulances carrying patients of all ages to overcrowde­d hospitals struggling to care for everyone.

Authoritie­s say more than 90 per cent of the state’s intensive-care unit beds are taken by Covid-19 patients, and many cities are reporting people dying at home due to lack of available medical treatment.

“We’re already living the third wave. We have three times more calls,” in comparison with previous waves, said Adriano Pereira, director of the mobile emergency care service in Duque de Caxias, an impoverish­ed city outside Rio.

Brazil’s death toll has risen past

340,000, the second-highest total in the world behind the US, where nearly 560,000 people have been confirmed killed.

Rio state’s 14-day moving average of Covid-19 daily deaths climbed from

112 to 207 between March 1 and April

7, with some health analysts expecting even worse days in the next couple of weeks. Many hospitals warn about the risk of shortages of oxygen and sedatives for intubation.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to get vaccinated, writing in a tweet: “Vaccinatio­n is among the few ways we have to defeat the virus. If you are eligible for the vaccine, get your shot soon.”

The US has now fully vaccinated nearly 20 per cent of its adult population, and New Mexico became the first state to get vaccines in the arms of 25 per cent of its residents — milestones that are still far off for many hard-hit countries. In India, home to 1.4 billion people, only 11 million are fully vaccinated.

In Brazil, less than 3 per cent of the country’s 210 million people have received both doses, according to Our World in Data, an online research site.

South Korea reported 700 more cases, the highest daily jump since January 5.

Health authoritie­s were expected to announce measures to strengthen social distancing following a meeting today.

In Thailand, which has reported only 95 deaths during the pandemic, health officials reported the country’s first local cases of the coronaviru­s variant first detected in Britain.

The news comes at a time when only 1 per cent of the population has been vaccinated and as Thais prepare to celebrate the traditiona­l Songkran New Year’s holiday next week, typically a time of widespread travel.

That variant is more contagious, and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that it is now the most common variant in the United States, raising concerns it will drive infections and cause more people to get sick.

 ?? Photo / AP ?? Brazil has become just the third country to report more than
4000 Covid deaths in
24 hours.
Photo / AP Brazil has become just the third country to report more than 4000 Covid deaths in 24 hours.

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