Brazil health officials urge lockdowns, curfews

The Kayapo indigenous people are seen after the reopening of the BR-163 highway, during a protest against the government measures in the indigenous lands to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Novo Progresso, Para state, Brazil

Brazilian health officials are urging nationwide lockdowns and curfews because hospitals are running short of intensive-care unit beds as COVID-19 claims more than 1,000 lives each day in the country.

“The return of the pandemic in several states is making their private and their public assistance networks collapse and has brought imminent risk of spreading it to all regions of Brazil,” Brazil’s National Council of Health Secretaries said Monday in an open letter, adding that the nation is experiencing its worst moment since the pandemic began.

Last week was Brazil’s deadliest of the pandemic, with 8,244 deaths from the virus.

The letter from the council, which represents the nation’s 27 health secretaries, suggested lockdowns in cities where no ICU beds are available and in the rest, curfews between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Less than 4% of Brazil’s population has been vaccinated against COVID-19. Almost 260,000 people have died from the disease in the South American country.

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