Brazil: Severe Second Wave of Covid-19
The nation comprising of a population of 212 million, Brazil, is facing the severe second wave of Covid-19. The pandemic had hit the country in the year 2020. Now, the country is observing more covid deaths & cases than before and its hospitals are overflowing with the surge in infection due to Brazilian Variant of coronavirus.
Brazil is hosting the new variant of covid-19 called P.1. this variant of the virus is more contagious and deadlier. Amid the rising cases, the country is observing a major shortfall in vaccine supplies. Furthermore, one of the reasons of rising cases are the policy uncertainty. For example, in three different cities of Brazil namely, Bauru, Serrana and Araraquara within 140 km has completely different approaches to fight the sudden rise in covid-19 cases. This led to more confusion and uncertainty. In Araraquara, there is a complete lockdown while in Bauru there is no lockdown or any policy on wearing masks. On the other hand, vaccination programme is going on in Serrana.
The increasing number of cases in various states might led to the collapse of their public and private hospital systems. This could also become the cases in every states of Brazil if the surge in cases continues. It is also a cause of concern that where the existing vaccine is having any effect on this variant or not.
Under the vaccine Maitri Initiative, India had provided a large consignment of vaccines to Brazil.
This variant of SARS-CoV-2 is also known as the Variant of Concern 202101/02 or the Brazilian variant. It is also called as lineage P.1 and it comprises of 17 unique amino acid changes. Out of them, ten changes are in its spike protein. This variant was first detected by National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), Japan in the month of January 2021. Four people from Japan who had visited Amazonas, Brazil were tested positive for this variant. Later in the month, this variant was declared to be in circulation in Brazil. The virus led to huge infections in Manaus city which is the capital of northern state of Amazonas. In January 2021, the study found that this variant was present in 91 per cent of samples which were sequenced in Amazonas. The preliminary data also shows that, the chances of Covid-19 reinfection via the P.1 variant lies between 25 per cent to 60 per cent.
Category: International Current Affairs