Brazil, one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic in the world, registered almost 100,000 cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, a figure that has only exceeded five times since the start of the pandemic and confirms the rapid spread of the omicron variant.
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According to the figures released this Thursday by the National Council of Health Secretariats (Conass), Brazil registered 174 deaths and 97,986 cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 620,545 and 22,814,917 the number of infections. since the start of the pandemic, in February 2020.
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The figures confirm Brazil as the second country in the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the world after the United States and as the third in number of infections after the North American nation and India.
The number of cases registered this Thursday is almost three times higher than a week ago (35,830 infections on January 6) and seven times higher than two weeks ago (13,200 infections on December 30).
It is also the sixth highest since the start of the pandemic and the highest in the last four months, since on September 18 of last year 150,110 infections were counted in one day, a figure inflated by the inclusion of thousands of cases from previous days that had not been updated.
Before, the highest number of infections in one day was registered on July 23, 2021 (108,730).
The exponential increase in infections in recent days brought the average number of cases in a week to 61,141 per day this Thursday, the highest average since last June 29 (65,622 daily infections), just over six months.
The number of deaths also grew in recent days driven by the rapid spread of the omicron, but to a lesser extent.
The average number of deaths this Thursday stood at 129 daily, with a growth of 37% compared to a week ago (94 per day on January 6) and the highest average since last December 17 (130 daily).
Before the arrival of the omicron, Brazil had managed to reduce the number of deaths and cases from COVID-19 to their minimum in 20 months, since last December the figures were almost at the same levels as at the beginning of the pandemic .
This reduction was attributed to the advancement of the vaccination campaign, which allowed nearly 144.9 million Brazilians, 68% of the 213 million inhabitants of the country, to have the complete immunization cycle (two doses or the single-dose vaccine).
But the omicron variant spread rapidly throughout the country, it is already the predominant one in Brazil and, according to private studies, it is responsible for more than 95% of new cases of COVID-19 in the country.
The rapid expansion of omicron, a more contagious variant, has made Brazil once again threatened by a hospital crisis, due to the sharp increase in demand for intensive care units.
According to figures from the state-run Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), at least one of the 27 states of the country and four of the 27 regional capitals are already in a critical hospital situation, as their intensive care units are occupied by over 80% Of capacity.
The most worrying situation is that of the city of Goiania, capital of the state of Goiás, which has already exhausted 94% of its intensive care units.
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