There is barely a person in Brazil today who hasn’t lost a loved one to Covid-19, say local scientists, as the country reached the grim milestone of half a million deaths.
The South American nation, which holds half the continent’s population, is being decimated by the virus. On June 18 alone Brazil accounted for nearly one-third of all Covid-19 deaths worldwide, according to Our World in Data — a figure that experts warn is quickly rising as the virus spreads unchecked throughout the country.
The 500,000 death toll is twice as high as it was six months ago, a sign that the mortality rate is accelerating, say experts.
“In June of last year, we reached 50,000 deaths for Covid-19. In just one year we have multiplied this number 10 times. It’s very scary,” says Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, who in January predicted that the country would reach 500,000 deaths in July. “At the time, people thought that the number was exaggerated,” he recalls.