April 8 Recently, the number of new COVID-19 deaths in Brazil has surged in a single day, which has brought great tests to the country. The government is eager to find a place to bury the dead. According to Reuters on the 7th, Brazil reported the first mutant case of COVID-19 infection originally found in South Africa, which is undoubtedly a dangerous signal for Brazil.
Scientists warned on the 7th that another mutant virus may appear in the Brazilian inland city of Belo Horizonte. The Federal University of Minas Gerais said in a statement that two samples collected in the city contained an unprecedented set of 18 mutations, some of which were genetically related to the mutation of COVID-19 found in South Africa. The same gene as the P.1 mutation of COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil.
More mutations have been detected, raising concerns that a new wave of ferocious outbreaks could continue to break grim records in the coming weeks. On the 6th, Brazil’s Ministry of Health reported a record 4,195 single-day death toll, and 3,829 more deaths on the 7th.
The government of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, said on the 7th that it would open about 600 new graves a day, which is far higher than the record of 426 burials per day set on March 30. The city is also preparing to build a “vertical cemetery”, an underground tomb with 26,000 drawer-shaped tombs, which can be built within 90 days once approved.
Some medical experts predict that Brazil’s epidemic may surpass that of the United States or will become the country with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world.
Women in the state of São Paulo, who have been confirmed to be infected with the mutant novel coronavirus found in South Africa, were first identified as a suspected case of a new local variant virus by the Butantan biomedical Institute. Further analysis confirmed that this case is the first case reported by Brazil to be widely spread in South Africa and some places.
Scientists fear a “fuel” between the mutant coronavirus originally discovered in South Africa and the P.1 mutant coronavirus found in Brazil, both of which are more infectious and potentially more deadly than the original version of the novel coronavirus, which may lead to a surge in confirmed cases.
“It could be a grand showdown,” said Maria Carolina Sabbaga, one of the coordinators for the Butan Institute for new variants. “I think P.1 mutant COVID-19 has prevailed. I’m not sure if the mutant coronavirus found in South Africa will surpass P.1. Let’s wait and see.” The study found that the mutant virus found in South Africa seems to reduce the protective effect of the current vaccine.
José Patané, a researcher at the Butantan Institute, said that the mutant virus was probably introduced to Brazil from Europe at the end of 2020.
The researchers said that the first confirmed case in the area was a woman in her 30s in Sorocaba, São Paulo, who had no history of traveling abroad or had contact with people with an exit history, indicating that the case was transmitted by the local community.
According to Brazilian officials, Brazil’s coronavirus immunization plan was established around AstraZeneca vaccine and China’s Coxing vaccine, which have been proved to be effective in responding to mutant viruses found in Brazil in preliminary studies.
Last year, while other countries were competing to obtain vaccine supplies, the Brazilian government was very slow in purchasing vaccines, resulting in slow progress in immunization activities.
President Jair Bolsonaro changed his rhetoric on vaccines and began to sell vaccines he despised until recently. However, he still opposes social distancing and masks, but these requirements are crucial to the virus in the eyes of health experts.