Brazil's healthcare system overwhelmed by new coronavirus cases

According to data from Brazil's health ministry, almost all the intensive care units in most Brazilian states are filled with people infected with the coronavirus. The increasing cases have caused concern among scientists and health care experts. 

A new strain of the coronavirus that was detected in Brazil, known as the P1 variant, is twice as infectious as the original Covid-19 variant. There are concerns the vaccines currently available are not as effective towards the new COVID-19 strain. 

Brazil has recorded more than 11 million cases of COVID-19 

Since the start of the pandemic, Brazil has recorded more than 11 million cases and 265,000 deaths. The country has the second-highest coronavirus death rate in the world. Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has downplayed the severity of the virus since the start of the pandemic.

Bolsonaro rejected the ideas of lockdowns and was recorded telling Brazilians to stop whining about the deaths occurring. The emergence of the P1 variant in Manaus has led to an increase in coronavirus cases. According to state media, Brazil witnessed a 38% jump in infections last week. 

The Brazilian coronavirus variant is twice as infectious as the original variant  

According to research carried out by the University of São Paulo, Imperial College London, and Oxford University, the virus is twice as infectious as the original variant. The research also suggests that the P1 variant can infect people that have built up immunity from the first variant. 

The Fiocruz institute in Brazil said that coronavirus cases linked to the P1 variant are rising in Brazil. In its report, the institute said that the best thing Brazil can do to fight the virus is by vaccinating its citizens and putting in place strict coronavirus safety rules.

There is the worry that the P1 virus might undo the progress the rest of the world has gained in its fight against the virus. Health experts have called for Brazil to handle the surge of cases efficiently.