Thursday, March 4

Tag: Brazil

Brazil signs Covid-19 vaccine deal with Bharat Biotech
Highlights, India, World

Brazil signs Covid-19 vaccine deal with Bharat Biotech

On the same day, Brazil reached the grim milestone of 250,000 deaths by COVID-19, the country's health ministry signed a deal with Indian pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech for the purchase of 20 million doses of the Covaxin Vaccines, which is yet to be approved by local regulators. The administration of President Jair Bolsonaro said the first 8 million Covaxin shots, which will be made by Brazilian company Precisa Medicamentos, will arrive in March. The second batch of another 8 million doses is expected for April and in May, another 4 million doses will be available. So far Brazil has vaccinated less than 4 percent of its population of 210 million people, with some cities stopping immunization campaigns last week due to shortages. Neither Precisa nor Bharat confirmed the deal...
Brazil’s capital goes into lockdown to quell Covid-19 surge
World

Brazil’s capital goes into lockdown to quell Covid-19 surge

The governor of Brazil’s capital city, Brasilia, decreed a 24-hour lockdown for all but essential services yesterday to curb a worsening Covid-19 outbreak that has filled its intensive care wards to the brim. The drastic step came as right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly downplayed the gravity of the pandemic that has killed 250,000 Brazilians, renewed his attacks on state governors for destroying jobs with lockdowns. “The lockdown will start today and be total, it will be 24-hours a day,” said a press aide for the federal district’s Governor Ibaneis Rocha. A decree published at the end of the day said the lockdown would start right after midnight Saturday. Shops, pharmacies, gas stations, churches and funeral parlors will remain open, the aide said, but everything...
Brazil confirms UK variant in two coronavirus patients
World

Brazil confirms UK variant in two coronavirus patients

Brazil has confirmed cases of the UK variant of the novel coronavirus in two states and in the federal district of Brasília, according to a statement from the health ministry yesterday. The government said it has not yet confirmed cases of the South African variant. Two of the confirmed cases of the UK variant were reported in the state of Goiás after sequencing test samples taken on December 31, according to the state’s health department on Friday. In that statement, Goias authorities said the two people who have caught the UK variant live on the outskirts of the federal capital Brasília. The World Health Organisation has said the UK variant has now been found in more than 70 countries. Brazil has the world’s highest number of coronavirus deaths after the United States and ...
Brazil’s mining giant agrees to pay USD 7 billion for dam disaster
World

Brazil’s mining giant agrees to pay USD 7 billion for dam disaster

Brazil's southeast state of Minas Gerais and mining giant Vale on Thursday signed an agreement that commits the company to pay nearly USD 7 billion in recompense for a dam disaster in 2019 that killed hundreds and polluted a vast region. The government of Minas Gerais described the deal as the largest reparations ever in Latin America. The company's tailings dam collapsed on January 25, 2019, in the town of Brumadinho, burying houses under toxic mud and causing at least 272 deaths. "Vale is determined to fully repair and compensate for the damages caused by the Brumadinho tragedy and contribute, increasingly, to the improvement and development of the communities in which we operate," Vale's CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo said. The "unprecedented" agreement will pay for public works that will...
Brazil to launch its first domestically designed observation satellite
Lifestyle, Science, World

Brazil to launch its first domestically designed observation satellite

Brazil is finalizing the details to launch the first Earth observation satellite designed, integrated, tested, and operated by the country, said the National Institute of Space Research (INPE) on Wednesday. The institute, which is responsible for the project, said in a statement that the satellite, named Amazonia 1, will be launched on February 28 from the launch base in Sriharikota, India, and will be the third Brazilian remote sensing satellite in operation. The previous two, CBERS-4 and CBERS-4A, were developed by Brazil in partnership with China. Amazonia 1 is a sun-synchronous orbit satellite that will generate images of the Earth every five days and is capable of observing a range of about 850 km with a resolution of 64 meters. With an expected lifespan of four years, the satel...
Global Covid-19 vaccine campaign gains pace as Brazil approves jabs
World

Global Covid-19 vaccine campaign gains pace as Brazil approves jabs

The global Covid-19 vaccination drive gained pace yesterday as Brazil gave its first injections and India pushed on with its massive campaign, while European authorities sought to allay concerns about delays in supplies. Brazil’s health regulator gave the green light for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and China’s CoronaVac to be used as the Latin American giant suffers a devastating second wave of the coronavirus. Monica Calazans, a 54-year-old intensive care nurse in Sao Paulo became the first person in Brazil to receive the Chinese CoronaVac jab after the Anvisa watchdog’s highly anticipated ruling. Growing concerns over different strains of the virus have meanwhile prompted governments to tighten curbs in a bid to stem a global death toll that has already surpassed two million....
Brazil soy firms commit to zero deforestation from 2020
Lifestyle, World

Brazil soy firms commit to zero deforestation from 2020

 Brazilian soy traders CJ Selecta, Caramuru and Imcopa have committed to zero deforestation in their respective supply chains, adding pressure on larger traders to accelerate environmental commitments. Their pledge involves a ban on trading soy grown on land deforested after August 2020 in all of Brazil, going beyond a previous agreements among traders that only applied to the Amazon rainforest. Patricia Sugui, CJ Selecta’s sustainability manager, said the three are part of a group promoting soy sustainability, adding the move to eradicate deforestation from supply chains immediately “is an answer to demands of civil society.” The three companies mostly supply Norway’s salmon industry. Their commitment is the first of its kind for Brazilian soy suppliers, putting pressure on larger play...
Neymar on the spot as PSG clinch French Super Cup against Marseille
Sports

Neymar on the spot as PSG clinch French Super Cup against Marseille

Neymar scored on his return from injury as Paris St Germain beat Olympique de Marseille 2-1 to win the French Super Cup in Lens on Wednesday. Brazil forward Neymar, who had been out of action since mid-December with an ankle injury, netted from the penalty spot in the second half to add to Mauro Icardi's first-half opener. Icardi, who has been struggling for goals this season, found the back of the net in the first half to set Ligue 1 champions PSG on the way to a routine win against last season's runners-up Marseille. Icardi, who earlier had a goal ruled out for offside, put PSG ahead six minutes before the break from close range after his header was parried back into his path by Steve Mandanda. Neymar replaced Angel Di Maria in the 65th minute for his first appearance in 2021...
Brazil’s Sau Paulo could roll out China’s Covid-19 vaccine without approval
World

Brazil’s Sau Paulo could roll out China’s Covid-19 vaccine without approval

Sao Paulo could roll out a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac without approval from the national health regulator, Governor Joao Doria said in an interview on Thursday, pressuring Brasilia to greenlight the vaccine. Health experts said Doria’s comments were an empty threat, as no drugs or vaccines can be used legally in Brazil without clearance from health regulator Anvisa, which pushed back against the comments. Still, his statements reveal growing tensions over the vaccine rollout in Latin America’s biggest country, with the world’s second-highest COVID-19 death toll. Critics of President Jair Bolsonaro argue he is threatening the independence of Anvisa with political appointees to gain leverage over governors and other rivals. In a video interview on the news website...
Brazil suspends WhatsApp’s new payments system
Technology

Brazil suspends WhatsApp’s new payments system

Brazil's central bank effectively suspended a newly-launched system allowing users of Facebook Inc's WhatsApp messaging service to send money via chats, ordering Visa and Mastercard to halt payments and transfers via the system. The central bank said in a statement that rolling out the service without previous analysis by the monetary authority could damage the Brazilian payments system in the areas of competition, efficiency and data privacy. The system, launched last week in a nationwide rollout, allowed users to transfer funds to individuals or local businesses within a chat, attaching payments as they would a photo or video. The central bank's move is the latest setback in payments for owner Facebook, which pared back its plans for a global payments system called Libra after m...
Arrest of ex-aide to Brazilian Prez Bolsonaro’s son another hit for leader
World

Arrest of ex-aide to Brazilian Prez Bolsonaro’s son another hit for leader

Brazilian authorities on Thursday arrested a man sought as part of an investigation into allegedly suspicious movements of money while working for the son of President Jair Bolsonaro, marking another indirect blow to the embattled leader. Fabrício Queiroz, a former driver for Sen. Flávio Bolsonaro, the president’s son, was arrested as part of a joint operation between public prosecutors of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo states, the Rio prosecutors’ office said in a statement. The probe is into an alleged phantom employee corruption scheme. Images on local television showed police escorting him out of a property in Atibaia, a town in Sao Paulo’s interior. Local media reported the property belongs to Flávio Bolsonaro’s lawyer. Jandir Neto, a prosecutor involved in the case, said in a tel...
Brazil withdraws bid to host 2023 Women’s World Cup
Sports

Brazil withdraws bid to host 2023 Women’s World Cup

Brazil withdrew its bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, arguing on Monday it cannot offer FIFA the financial assurances it needs because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Brazilian Football Confederation also said in a statement it will support Colombia’s bid against Japan and the joint candidacy of Australia and New Zealand. South America has never hosted the tournament. A decision is expected on June 25. The confederation said the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro told FIFA it could not offer financial guarantees “due to the scenario of fiscal and economic austerity, caused by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The confederation “understands the position of caution of the Brazilian government, and of other public and private partners, which stopped ...
Brazil’s Covid-19 death toll surges to third-highest in world
World

Brazil’s Covid-19 death toll surges to third-highest in world

Brazil’s death toll from the novel coronavirus has surged past 34,000 to become the third-highest in the world, surpassing Italy’s, according to official figures released Thursday. The South American country reported a new record of 1,473 deaths in 24 hours, bringing its overall toll to 34,021, behind only the United States and Britain. Brazil has now confirmed 614,941 infections, the health ministry said -- the second-largest caseload in the world, behind the US. Experts say under-testing in Brazil means the real numbers are probably much higher. The latest figures underlined the grim toll the virus is taking in Latin America, the latest epicenter in the pandemic. Brazil, a country of 210 million people, has been the hardest-hit in the region. President Jair Bolsonaro ha...
As Covid-19 rages in Brazil, 5-month-old emerges as miracle survivor
World

As Covid-19 rages in Brazil, 5-month-old emerges as miracle survivor

A five-month-old baby in Brazil has miraculously survived Covid-19, to become one of the youngest to be cured of the coronavirus disease. Baby Dom will be home in time to celebrate his sixth birthday. His parents told CNN that he contracted the disease a few months after he was born. The baby spent 54 days in hospital, out of this, he was in induced coma for more than a month, reported CNN. The baby’s parents took him to a hospital after he found it difficult to breathe, reported CNN, adding that initially he was treated for a bacterial infection. A second hospital later tested the baby for coronavirus and he was found positive, it added. Brazil, meanwhile, reported a record 33,274 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, its health ministry said, and the death toll surpassed that of...
In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, everyone else is to blame for virus
World

In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, everyone else is to blame for virus

With Brazil emerging as one of the world’s most infected countries, President Jair Bolsonaro is deflecting all responsibility for the coronavirus crisis, casting blame on mayors, governors, an outgoing health minister and the media. By contrast, he portrays himself as a clear-eyed crusader willing to defend an unpopular idea — that shutting down the economy to control COVID-19 will ultimately cause more suffering than allowing the disease to run its course. The refusal of governors to fall into line with his decree allowing gyms to open, he said, verged on authoritarianism. Asked about Brazil’s death toll surpassing China’s, he feigned impotence: “I don’t work miracles. What do you want me to do?” Confronted with a travel ban imposed on Brazil by the US because of widespread COVID-19...