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BBC
India's Covid crisis: The newsroom counting the uncounted deaths
Soutik Biswas - India correspondent  Tue, May 11, 2021, 2:08 AM.
On 1 April, the wife and daughter of an editor of a leading newspaper in India's western state of Gujarat went to a state-run hospital to get the daughter a Covid-19 test.  Waiting in the queue, they noticed two body bags on gurneys. Workers at the hospital in the capital, Gandhinagar, said the patients had died of Covid-19.  The mother and daughter returned home and told Rajesh Pathak, who edits a local edition of Sandesh, what they that had seen.  Mr Pathak called his reporters that evening and decided to investigate further. "After all, the government press statements were showing no Covid-19 deaths for Gandhinagar yet," he said. Only nine deaths from Covid-19 were officially recorded in Gujarat that day.

The next day a team of reporters began calling up hospitals treating Covid-19 patients in seven cities - Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar - and kept a tab on deaths. Since then, Sandesh, a 98-year-old Gujarati language newspaper, has published a daily count of the dead, which is usually several times more than the official figure. "We have our sources in hospitals, and the government has not denied any of our reports. But we still needed first-hand confirmation," Mr Pathak says.
Sandesh reporters checked 21 cremation grounds and found more than 200 Covid-19 funerals in one night  So the newspaper decided to do some old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism. On the evening of 11 April, two reporters and a photographer staked out the mortuary of the 1,200-bed state-run Covid-19 hospital in Ahmedabad. Over 17 hours, they counted 69 body bags coming out of a single exit before they were loaded into waiting ambulances. Next day, Gujarat officially counted 55 deaths, including 20 from Ahmedabad.

On the night of 16 April, the journalists drove 150km (93 miles) around Ahmedabad and visited 21 cremation grounds. There they counted body bags and pyres, examined registers, spoke to cremation workers, looked at "slips" which assigned the cause of death, and took photographs and recorded videos. They found that most of the deaths were attributed to "illness", although the bodies were being handled under rigorous protocols. At the end of the night the team had counted more than 200 bodies. But the next day, Ahmedabad counted only 25 deaths.

All of April, Sandesh's intrepid reporters have diligently counted the dead in seven cities. On 21 April, they counted 753 deaths, the highest single-day tally since the deadly second wave washed over the western state. On a number of other days, they counted in excess of 500 deaths. On 5 May, the paper counted 83 deaths in Vadodara. The official figure was 13.

The Gujarat government denies under-counting and says it is following federal protocols.

But reportage by other newspapers has stood up the alleged under-counting. The English language Hindu newspaper, for example, reported it had information that 689 bodies were cremated or buried in the seven cities following Covid-19 protocols on 16 April, when the official death toll for the entire state was 94. Some experts reckoned that last month alone Gujarat might have under-counted Covid-19 deaths by a staggering factor of 10.

With the pandemic forcing people to stay away from the rituals of grief, newspapers were overflowing with obituaries.  {picture} The number of funerals at a cremation ground in Bharuch district on Saturday also did not tally with the official death statistic, according to this report in Gujarat Samachar, another leading local newspaper:  {picture}
Gujarat has so far officially registered more than 680,000 Covid-19 infections and over 8,500 deaths. Under-counting of deaths have been reported from several Indian cities badly hit by the pandemic. But the scale of Gujarat's under-counting appears to be massive, and has even provoked the state's high court to admonish the state government, run by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling BJP. "The state had nothing to gain by hiding the real picture and hence suppression and concealment of accurate data would generate more serious problems including fear, loss of trust, panic among the public at large," the judges said in April. 

Many believe that most Covid-19 deaths are being attributed to the patient's underlying conditions or co-morbidities. A senior bureaucrat, who preferred to remain unnamed, told me only patients testing positive for the virus and dying of "viral pneumonia" were being counted as Covid-19 deaths. Chief minister Vijay Rupani says "every death is being investigated and recorded by a death audit committee". 

To be sure, counting bodies at mortuaries or cremation grounds and tallying them with official figures for the day can be imprecise as official statistics come with a time lag, according to Prabhat Jha of the University of Toronto, who led India's ambitious Million Death Study. Countries such as UK have reduced the official death toll from coronavirus after a review of how deaths are counted. Covid-19 deaths have been under-reported by as much as 30 to 40% worldwide, studies have shown.
Gujarat has officially reported more than 600,000 cases  "Reporting and recording systems are swamped during a pandemic, so officials often take time to update [numbers]. But update they must, and record all the deaths. Counting body bags at hospitals and cremation grounds is a good way to put pressure on authorities to come clean," Dr Jha says.

For the journalists, it has been a harrowing experience.  Hitesh Rathod, a photographer at Sandesh, recounted the harrowing experience of counting the dead. "People were getting admitted and coming out as body bags," he said. He found six-hour-long queues of bodies at crematoria, which he says reminded him of the "long queues of people outside banks after demonetisation," Mr. Modi's controversial 2016 ban on high denomination currency.  "Five years later, I found similar queues outside hospitals, mortuaries and cremation grounds. This time there were queues of the people struggling to stay alive and queues of the dead," he said.

Ronak Shah, one of Sandesh's reporters, says he was shaken up by the wails of three young children piercing the still night when the hospital's PA system announced the death of their father. "The children were saying they had come to the hospital to pick up their father and go home. They returned with his corpse seven hours later," Mr. Shah says.

Dipak Mashla, who led the team to the cremation grounds, says he returned home "scared and shaken.   ...I saw parents come with body bags of their dead children, pay money to the funeral worker and tell them, 'Please take my child and burn him'. They were too scared to even touch the corpse."

Imtiyaz Ujjainwala, another reporter on the team, believes the scale of under-counting has been considerably more, considering he and his colleagues only counted bodies from one hospital. There were more than 171 private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients in Ahmedabad, he said. "And nobody is counting there."

 

 

Edited by Ambergris
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On 5/6/2021 at 5:36 AM, Ambergris said:

Data is incomplete with regard to the 135 people apparently risen from the dead in West Virginia. 

 

Yeah.....I'm not a math wiz but something seemed odd about that to me too.... :scratchhead:

 

MtRider     :lol:  

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Robin MILLARD with AFP bureaus
Wed, May 12, 2021, 1:55 AM
An expert panel on Wednesday blamed bad coordination as well as dithering by national governments and international organisations for the failure to tackle Covid-19 before it became a full-blown pandemic, as India's death toll topped 250,000.

India added a record 4,205 deaths to its Covid-19 toll in the past 24 hours, with the variant stoking the country's surge now present in dozens of other countries across the globe.

++++++

Those are the official numbers.  Given the undercounting described in the articles above, that means real death toll around 2,500,000 (almost all of it in the past two and a half months) and about 42,000 on the 24 hours of May 11.  

 

 

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Seychelles

1,842 infections per 100K people reported last 7 days as of May 13, 2021, highest per capita level in Africa.

Average number of new infections reported each day in Seychelles now at 257 new infections reported each day, mostly mild.


According to the country's health ministry, "more than one third of new active cases are people who are fully vaccinated."  Seychelles has administered at least 128,919 doses of COVID vaccines so far, and is understood to have vaccinated 66% of the population.  According to the health ministry, 57% were given the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm, while 43% were given Covishield, a version of AstraZeneca that had been manufactured in India.  India has stopped AZ exports, and is not talking about the Seychelles.  China, which insists that Sinopharm is nearly 80% effective, is  scrambling for excuses.

Remember the comment in the earlier article about Sinopharm being just over 50% effective?  And remember that another vaccine, offhand I can't recall whether that was AZ or J&J, was apparently designed not to keep you from getting sick, but to keep you from dying from it.  Apparently, quality matters.

 

 

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It appears that covid vaccines are coming out of the wood work with varying levels of efficacy.  So far only a few are allowed in the US.  How are they chosen and who chooses?  Are they only made in America ones?  It does appear that the whole pandemic has been mismanaged from the beginning, not just by our country but by the world at large.  

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4 hours ago, Mother said:

It appears that covid vaccines are coming out of the wood work with varying levels of efficacy.  So far only a few are allowed in the US.  How are they chosen and who chooses?  Are they only made in America ones?  It does appear that the whole pandemic has been mismanaged from the beginning, not just by our country but by the world at large.  

 

I don't think the foreign made ones would be allowed to be used in the US unless they were able to gain "emergency use authorization" status. 

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In a quick online search it appears that the main vaccines used here were developed and are manufactured in various places and not just in the USA.  They ARE foreign made or at least might be.  hmmmmm  

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Pfizer makes it in Kalamazoo and Puurs, Germany.  Moderna's US vaccine is made "in the US" which could mean Puerto Rico or another territory.  Johnson & Johnson split up to Maryland, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Spain, Italy, India, South Africa France.

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17 hours ago, Ambergris said:

According to the country's health ministry, "more than one third of new active cases are people who are fully vaccinated." 

 

:puzzledsmile:  :tapfoot:  :ph34r:   Not that anyone thot we were being lied to...  :grinning-smiley-044: ....  Just a slight miscalculation with a vaccine HYPER-RUSHED thru rigorous and careful testing  :whistling:    .....er, something $$$$$$ like that. 

 

Oh...that's right.  New data says WE are the testing....right now!  Take the shot and you're in the testing samples.  Refuse and you're in the control group.  Projected time to arrive at final conclusions.....????? 

 

MtRider  .....does TEOTWAWKI sound about right?   <_<    

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India 'on war footing' as coronavirus infections pass 24 million
Fri, May 14, 2021, 12:09 AM  By Tanvi Mehta and Shilpa Jamkhandikar

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -Prime Minister Narendra Modi sounded the alarm over the rapid spread of the coronavirus through India's vast countryside on Friday, as the official tally of infections crossed 24 million, and 4,000 people died for the third straight day.  The highly transmissible B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus first detected in India is also spreading across the globe, and Modi said his government was "on a war footing" in its fight against the contagion.

"The outbreak is reaching rural areas with great speed," Modi said, addressing a group of farmers in a virtual conference. "I want to once again warn all farmers and all those who live in villages about corona."

Although about two-thirds of Indians live in rural towns and villages where healthcare facilities are meagre, it was the first time Modi has specifically referred to the spread of the virus in the countryside since a second wave of the epidemic erupted in February.  Indian health ministry data show 4,000 deaths and 343,144 infections over the last 24 hours. It was the third consecutive day of 4,000 deaths, or more, but daily infections have kept below last week's peak of 414,188.

The tally of infections since the pandemic first struck India more than a year ago crossed 24 million, and the death toll stood at 262,317.  But experts say a lack of testing in many places, particularly rural areas, meant the official count grossly underestimates the true scale of the crisis.  Television has broadcast images of families weeping over the dead in rural hospitals or camping in wards to tend the sick.  Bodies have washed up in the Ganges, the river that flows through the country's most populous states, as crematoriums are overwhelmed and wood for funeral pyres is in short supply.

"We are removing all obstacles that are in the way of any resources we need in this fight," Modi said. "Work is being done on a war footing. All departments of the government, all resources, our armed forces, our scientists, everyone is working day and night to counter COVID, together."

Modi has faced severe criticism over his leadership during the health crisis, having allowed a huge Hindu gathering to take place in northern India in February and addressing political rallies in April that have been blamed for fuelling the spread of the disease to rural areas.

INFECTIOUS VARIANT

The Indian B.1.617 variant has been found in eight nations in the Americas, including Canada and the United States, said Jairo Mendez, an infectious diseases expert with the World Health Organization (WHO).  "These variants have a greater capacity for transmission, but so far we have not found any collateral consequences," Mendez said. "The only worry is that they spread faster."

Among the infected were travelers in Panama and Argentina who had arrived from India or Europe, while in the Caribbean, the variant was found in Aruba, Dutch St Maarten and the French department of Guadeloupe.  It has spread to the Himalayan nation of Nepal and also been detected in Britain and tiny Singapore.  Public Health England said the total number of infections due to the variant had more than doubled in the past week, to 1,313 across Britain.

"We are anxious about it - it has been spreading," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, adding that meetings would be held to discuss measures. "We're ruling nothing out."

Singapore said it was limiting social gatherings to two people and putting a halt to dining in restaurants.  About half of the nearly 150 passengers booked to return on Australia's first repatriation flight from India were denied boarding because of positive test results, an Australian government official said.

'FRIGHTENING SPEED'

"The human catastrophe that is unfolding in India and Nepal should be a warning to other countries in the region to invest heavily in surge capacity for an emergency response," said Yamini Mishra, of rights group Amnesty International.  "The virus is spreading and transcending borders at a frightening speed and will continue to hit the region’s most marginalized populations hardest of all," the group's Asia-Pacific director said in a statement.

Although Modi threw open inoculations for all adults from May 1, vaccinations have slowed down.  India is the world's largest vaccine producer but the huge demand has left it low on stocks. As of Friday, it had fully vaccinated just over 39.4 million people, or over 2.9% of a population of about 1.35 billion, government data shows.  More than 2 billion doses of vaccine are likely to be available between August to December this year, top government adviser V.K. Paul told reporters amid criticism that the government had mishandled the vaccine plan.  Those would include 750 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine, as well as 550 million of Covaxin, made by domestic producer Bharat Biotech.  Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd said the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine imported from Russia that landed in India on May 1 received regulatory clearance on Thursday and the first dose of the shot was administered in Hyderabad on Friday as part of a limited pilot.

(Additional reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Writing by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez & Simon Cameron-Moore)

++++++

See notes in prior article about efficacy of the AZ and Covaxin.  Sputnik claims a 91.6 efficacy rate, but the Lancet, a medical journal that sets standards worldwide, has published a letter challenging its data.

 

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People are tired of lockdowns and mandates.  They are fed up with being told what to do or not do.  They want their “normal” lives back.  They need the economy opened. The numbers here in the US, which may or may not be correct, are down. We have quite a percentage of people vaccinated.  
 

Despite all that I feel we may be doing what India did by opening too soon and too fast.  I pray I am wrong and Covid will soon be no worse than an annual cold/flu to deal with but I don’t see that happening any time soon.  :sigh:

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Wisconsin could pay residents to get COVID-19 vaccine  https://www.wisn.com/article/covid-19-wisconsin-doesnt-rule-out-paying-residents-to-get-vaccine/36411950

 

The percentage of residents who have received at least one dose has only risen a little more than 1% during the last 10 days. Wisconsin vaccination numbers, which had been on the rise for months, are now at a plateau.

 

They dropped from a single-day high of more than 91,000 doses five weeks ago to a little more than 20,000 on Tuesday.

 

"Probably more education because they're afraid. I was afraid at first myself," Ruby Bardwell said.

 

From pop-up clinics in places like shopping centers and bars, health officials have tried a variety of approaches to raise the vaccination rate among those who may still be hesitant.

 

"Now, as we say, the hard part begins. Which is, we find a lot of different, creative ways to do pop-up clinics to bring vaccine to where people are at," Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said Wednesday.

 

Gov. Tony Evers didn't rule out possibly paying people to get shots at some point in the future.

 

"We'll never say never about any opportunity to convince people to do it," he said. "We haven't reached that point, but we will do everything in our power to get people to get shots in their arms."    :0327:

 

It appears that the test group is slowing down in adding numbers. The government will now try to bait the control group with candy to get them to step into line to get stuck with the experimental drug.    :thumbs:

 

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3 hours ago, Mt_Rider said:

:behindsofa:  

I didn't take a call yesterday because I was already on the phone. The VA left me a voice message, wanting me to commit to taking a vaccine while I was there this coming monday while getting a steroid injection in my shoulder.  :0327: If I already had the vaccine, I'm supposed to bring the paperwork proving it. I can see under the current federal administration that it won't be long before the unvaccinated won't be able to secure their rightful medical care.   :misc-smiley-231:

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Countries reporting the most new infections per day averaged over the last seven days
INDIA               341,095

BRAZIL              62,951

USA                  33,961

ARGENTINA      22,111

COLOMBIA      16,828


Countries reporting the most deaths per day " " " " " " 
INDIA              3,989

BRAZIL            1,914

USA                   591

COLOMBIA       489

ARGENTINA     459

 

Countries most likely to be in trouble, by region:

Sri Lanka  

Costa Rica
Cuba
Guyana
Suriname
Trinidad and Tobago
Colombia
Argentina
Paraguay
Honduras
Bolivia
Brazil
Venezuela

 

Maldives
Thailand
Timor-Leste
Taiwan
Vietnam
Bahrain
Nepal
Japan (but Japan has the resources to handle it)
Malaysia

 

Botswana
Angola
Seychelles
Cape Verde
Egypt
Réunion
Burundi
Namibia
Gabon
Central African Republic

US deaths as of a week ago

For the week ending Sunday, May 9, 2021

  DEATHS TO DATE ONE-WEEK TOTAL
State Total deaths Per 100K New deaths Per 100K 1-wk chg.
United States 582,085
 
175 4,756 1.4
–1.3%
Michigan 19,377
 
194 484 4.8
+0%
Florida 36,445
 
170 477 2.2
+9.9%
California 61,957
 
157 403 1.0
–11.2%
Texas 50,851
 
175 386 1.3
+24.5%
New York State 52,387
 
269 330 1.7
–8.8%
Pennsylvania 26,589
 
208 262 2.0
–9.3%
Illinois 24,577
 
194 219 1.7
+0%
New Jersey 25,801
 
291 201 2.3
–8.6%
Georgia 20,367
 
192 155 1.5
–34.6%
Ohio 19,428
 
166 144 1.2
–11.1%
North Carolina 12,780
 
122 129 1.2
+0.8%
Virginia 10,895
 
128 104 1.2
+4.0%
Wisconsin 7,652
 
131 85 1.5
–9.6%
Missouri 9,173
 
150 76 1.2
+13.4%
Maryland 8,851
 
146 75 1.2
–34.8%
South Carolina 9,592
 
186 72 1.4
–20.0%
Minnesota 7,231
 
128 71 1.3
–12.3%
Kentucky 6,586
 
147 69 1.5
+1.5%
Indiana 13,418
 
199 69 1.0
–8.0%
Alabama 10,978
 
224 65 1.3
+4.8%
Washington 5,564
 
73 65 0.9
+0%
Arizona 17,409
 
239 65 0.9
–14.5%
Massachusetts 17,682
 
257 61 0.9
–14.1%
Puerto Rico 2,374
 
74 59 1.8
+18.0%
Colorado 6,508
 
113 59 1.0
–9.2%
Tennessee 12,255
 
180 58 0.8
+5.5%
Louisiana 10,433
 
224 51 1.1
+10.9%
Oklahoma 6,832
 
173 44 1.1
–38.9%
Connecticut 8,137
 
228 40 1.1
–20.0%
West Virginia 2,726
 
152 40 2.2
–129.6%
Kansas 5,016
 
172 34 1.2
+142.9%
Nevada 5,498
 
179 34 1.1
–19.0%
New Mexico 4,098
 
195 31 1.5
–27.9%
Oregon 2,530
 
60 29 0.7
+81.3%
Mississippi 7,228
 
243 29 1.0
+20.8%
Iowa 5,985
 
190 26 0.8
–18.8%
Utah 2,224
 
69 20 0.6
–9.1%
Montana 1,592
 
149 18 1.7
+63.6%
Arkansas 5,760
 
191 17 0.6
–32.0%
Rhode Island 2,687
 
254 16 1.5
+45.5%
Idaho 2,061
 
115 15 0.8
+0%
South Dakota 1,980
 
224 13 1.5
+44.4%
Delaware 1,636
 
168 10 1.0
+0%
New Hampshire 1,315
 
97 10 0.7
–52.4%
Nebraska 2,251
 
116 6 0.3
+100.0%
Maine 795
 
59 6 0.4
–64.7%
Hawaii 488
 
35 5 0.4
+0%
North Dakota 1,499
 
197 5 0.7
–37.5%
Washington, D.C. 1,110
 
157 4 0.6
–42.9%
Wyoming 710
 
123 3 0.5
+50.0%
Vermont 249
 
40 2 0.3
–33.3%
Alaska 349
 
48 2 0.3
–84.6%

 

 

Where the number of people in hospitals increased or decreased the most

For the week ending Sunday, May 9, 2021

  CURRENTLY HOSPITALIZED
State Avg. this week Per 100K 1-wk chg.
United States 34,315
 
10
–9.1%
Kansas 192
 
7
+55.4%
Idaho 104
 
6
+35.7%
Montana 65
 
6
+26.2%
Hawaii 55
 
4
+20.7%
Alaska 51
 
7
+16.7%
Alabama 356
 
7
+10.9%
North Dakota 41
 
5
+10.7%
Wyoming 27
 
5
+7.9%
Maine 130
 
10
+7.6%
Arkansas 175
 
6
+6.9%
Indiana 955
 
14
+5.5%
New Mexico 143
 
7
+5.4%
Colorado 708
 
12
+4.6%
Louisiana 327
 
7
+4.0%
Nevada 340
 
11
+3.2%
Wisconsin 340
 
6
+2.4%
Oregon 343
 
8
+1.3%
Arizona 629
 
9
+1.2%
Iowa 183
 
6
–1.1%
West Virginia 235
 
13
–1.3%
Nebraska 128
 
7
–1.5%
Oklahoma 174
 
4
–2.0%
Utah 148
 
5
–2.2%
Kentucky 414
 
9
–2.3%
New Hampshire 84
 
6
–2.5%
Tennessee 789
 
12
–2.5%
Washington 658
 
9
–3.3%
Illinois 1,994
 
16
–4.0%
Missouri 744
 
12
–4.5%
Mississippi 209
 
7
–5.5%
Georgia 1,412
 
13
–5.9%
Texas 2,541
 
9
–6.0%
North Carolina 1,034
 
10
–6.4%
California 1,890
 
5
–7.5%
Ohio 1,097
 
9
–7.7%
Minnesota 568
 
10
–9.6%
Florida 2,910
 
14
–10.0%
Virginia 833
 
10
–11.9%
Pennsylvania 2,049
 
16
–12.3%
Maryland 897
 
15
–15.4%
Vermont 16
 
3
–15.5%
Rhode Island 119
 
11
–16.2%
South Dakota 90
 
10
–16.2%
Michigan 2,747
 
28
–17.1%
Washington, D.C. 95
 
13
–18.0%
Massachusetts 476
 
7
–18.0%
Connecticut 326
 
9
–19.7%
New York State 2,339
 
12
–20.2%
South Carolina 371
 
7
–21.8%
New Jersey 1,297
 
15
–22.4%
Delaware 119
 
12
–23.2%
Puerto Rico 338
 
11
–28.3%

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I like seeing the numbers reported as going down but I believe I will stay out of Kansas.  Thanks, Ambergris, for posting these numbers for us.  :hug3:

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COVID-19 is ravaging Brazil, and, in a disturbing new wrinkle that experts are working to understand, it appears to be killing babies and small children at an unusually high rate.  Since the start of the pandemic, 832 children 5 and under have died of the virus, according to Brazil’s health ministry. Comparable data is scarce because countries track the impact of the virus differently, but in the United States, which has a far larger population than Brazil, and a higher overall death toll from COVID-19, 139 children 4 and under have died.

And Brazil’s official number of child deaths is likely a substantial undercount, as a lack of widespread testing means many cases go undiagnosed, said Dr. Fátima Marinho, an epidemiologist at the University of São Paulo.  Marinho, who is leading a study tallying the death toll among children based on both suspected and confirmed cases, estimates that more than 2,200 children under 5 have died since the start of the pandemic, including more than 1,600 babies less than a year old.  “We are seeing a huge impact on children,” said Marinho. “It’s a number that’s absurdly high. We haven’t seen this anywhere else in the world.”

Experts in Brazil, Europe and the United States agree that the number of children’s deaths from COVID-19 in Brazil appeared to be particularly high.  “Those numbers are surprising. That’s a lot higher than what we’re seeing in the United States,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, vice chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on infectious diseases, and a pediatrics infectious disease specialist at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “By any of the measures that we’re following here in the United States, those numbers are quite a bit higher.”

There is no evidence available on the impact of variants of the virus — which scientists say are leading to more severe cases of COVID in young, healthy adults and driving up death tolls in Brazil — on babies and children.  But experts say the variant appears to be leading to higher death rates among pregnant women. Some women with COVID are giving birth to stillborn or premature babies already infected with the virus, said Dr. André Ricardo Ribas Freitas, an epidemiologist at São Leopoldo Mandic College in Campinas, who led a recent study on the impact of the variant.  “We can already affirm that the P.1 variant is much more severe in pregnant women,” said Ribas Freitas. “And, oftentimes, if the pregnant woman has the virus, the baby might not survive or they might both die.”

Lack of timely and adequate access to health care for children once they fall ill is likely a factor in the death toll, experts said. In the United States and Europe, experts said, early treatment has been key to the recovery of children infected with the virus. In Brazil, overstretched doctors have often been late to confirm infections in children, Marinho said.

Dr. Lara Shekerdemian, chief of critical care at Texas Children’s Hospital, said that the mortality rate for children who get COVID-19 remains very low, but children living in countries where medical care is uneven were at greater risk. “Children are not being tested,” she said. “They get sent away, and it’s only when these children return in a really bad state that COVID-19 is suspected.”  “A child that might just need a bit of oxygen today may end up on a ventilator next week if they don’t have access to the oxygen and the steroid that we give early in the disease process,” Shekerdemian said. “So what might end up as a simple hospitalization in my world can result in a child needing medical care they simply can’t get if there’s a delay in access to care.”

A study published in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal in January found that children in Brazil and four other countries in Latin America developed more severe forms of COVID-19 and more cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a rare and extreme immune response to the virus, compared with data from China, Europe and North America.

Even before the pandemic began, millions of Brazilians living in poor areas had limited access to basic health care. In recent months, the system has been overwhelmed as a crush of patients have flooded into critical care units, resulting in a chronic shortage of beds.  “There’s a barrier to access for many,” said Dr. Ana Luisa Pacheco, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at the Heitor Vieira Dourado Tropical Medicine Foundation in Manaus. “For some children, it takes three or four hours by boat to get to a hospital.”

The cases in children have shot up amid Brazil’s broader explosion in infections, which experts attribute to President Jair Bolsonaro’s cavalier response to the pandemic and his government’s refusal to take vigorous measures to promote social distancing. A lagging economy has also left millions without income or enough food, forcing many to risk infection as they search for work.

Some of the children who have died of the virus already had health issues that made them more vulnerable. Still, Marinho estimates that they represent just over one-quarter of deaths among children under 10. That suggests that healthy children, too, seem to be at heightened risk from the virus in Brazil. 

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Countries reporting the most new infections each day  
INDIA               328,984

BRAZIL              63,241

USA                   45,503

ARGENTINA      22,792

COLOMBIA        16,524


Countries reporting the most deaths each day 
INDIA                    4,039

BRAZIL                 1,916

USA                        598

COLOMBIA             492

ARGENTINA           457

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On 5/16/2021 at 10:10 PM, Jeepers said:

I like seeing the numbers too. 

 

I noticed Central and South America might be headed for another round. :(

 

I talked to a charity worker from Central America on Sunday and he said that many residents in his country were not taking the shot because it was coming from China and Russia. The people were afraid of the ingredients. He did get the two shots while visiting us in the USA. His wife chose not to get them.

 

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I know a guy in Equador who emigrated from Canada.  He is an older guy in his 60s.  He and his wife got a shot and most of the local ex-pat population where he is also did.  

 

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