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In Brazil, an alarming number of babies and children are dying from Covid-19

The coronavirus has killed about 1,300 babies in Brazil since the pandemic began, although there is ample evidence that Covid-19 rarely kills young children.

While data from the health ministry shows that more than 800 children under the age of 9 have died from Covid-19, including about 500 babies, experts say the actual number of deaths is higher because the cases are insufficiently reported due to the lack of of widespread coronavirus testing, according to the BBC, which first reported the story.

Dr. Fatima Marinho of the University of Sao Paulo, a leading epidemiologist who is a senior adviser to the international NGO Vital Strategies, estimates that the virus has killed 2,060 children under the age of nine, including 1

,302 babies. Its estimate is based on the number of redundant deaths from indeterminate acute respiratory syndrome during a pandemic.

There is a misconception that children are at zero risk for Covid-19, Marinho told the BBC after finding that there were 10 times more deaths from unexplained respiratory syndrome in the last year than in previous years.

Marinho added that during her research, she noticed an increase in cases of multisystemic inflammatory syndrome among Brazilian children. The rare syndrome is a newly identified and serious health condition associated with the virus that causes Covid-19 infections. It tends to affect children up to six weeks after being infected with the coronavirus.

Brazil has become the country with the second highest number of Covid-19 deaths, more than 361,000 since the start of the pandemic, the most in the world after the United States.

Doctors Without Borders or Doctors Without Borders in English said Thursday that the government’s “failed response” to the pandemic had led to thousands of avoidable deaths.

“More than a year after the Covid-19 pandemic, the failed response in Brazil has caused a humanitarian catastrophe,” Dr. Christos Christou, president of Doctors Without Borders, told reporters. “Every week there is a grim new record of deaths and infections – hospitals are overcrowded and yet there is still no coordinated centralized response.”

Last week, more than a quarter of the world’s coronavirus deaths were in Brazil. Christou said he expects the situation to worsen in the coming weeks if nothing changes.

So far, right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, who has opposed the conclusions, has held major events in which he often does not wear a mask. He has only recently taken vaccines as a possible solution.

Experts in Brazil say low levels of coronavirus testing, a lack of efforts to track contacts and a shortage of vaccines have contributed to an increase in cases and deaths. These factors have also increased the risk of exposure and potential death among more Brazilian babies and children.

“Their refusal to adapt fact-based public health measures has sent too many people to an early grave. The response in Brazil needs urgent, scientifically sound and well-coordinated reset to prevent further avoidable deaths. , and the destruction of the once prestigious Brazilian health care system, “Christou said in a statement Thursday.

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Reuters contributed.

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