Sao Paulo to impose new restrictions, as country announces record high daily deaths for the second day in a row.
The country’s health ministry said on Wednesday that 1,910 additional deaths and 71,704 new cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the past 24 hours.
It was the second consecutive day that Brazil registered a record high number of deaths.
“For the first time since the pandemic began, we are seeing a deterioration across the entire country,” public health institute Fiocruz said before the latest figures were published.
“The situation is alarming.”
Brazil has recorded more than 257,000 coronavirus-related deaths – the second-highest in the world after the United States – as well as more than 10.6 million COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has faced widespread criticism and protests against his handling of the pandemic, as the far-right leader has downplayed the threat of the virus and eschewed public health measures
The government has also struggled to secure, distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
On Wednesday, Sao Paulo State Governor Joao Doria announced that a two-week, partial lockdown would come into effect on Saturday in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
Bars and restaurants will operate only via delivery and malls and non-essential business will be shut, the governor told reporters during a news conference, but schools, churches, grocery stores and health services would remain open.
Doria said Sao Paulo state, which is home to 46.3 million people, has been receiving a new intensive care patient every two minutes and is “on the brink of a health system collapse”.
“More than 1,000 people are dying every day in Brazil. It’s like five plane crashes a day … Many of the Brazilians who have been buried died because you didn’t do what you were supposed to: lead.” Here