Covid-19 cases are on the rise among Brazil’s younger population, a Brazilian research institute has found, as the country grapples with a deadly resurgence of the virus.
“The country is in a situation of collapse of the health system. At the same time, the pandemic has been gaining new characteristics affecting younger age groups: 30 to 39 years, 40 to 49 years and 50 to 59 years,” reads the report published Friday by Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz).
During the first part of Brazil’s struggle with the coronavirus, it was the elderly who made up the majority of those who were getting sick from Covid-19.
But since the beginning of the country’s second wave of Covid-19 on November 2020, demand has increased for health services by symptomatic young patients in Brazil, Fiocruz researchers said.
The new report analyzed weekly data from the country’s Health Ministry from January 1 to March 13, 2021. It found an increase of more than 500% in infections among people aged 30 to 39. There was a more than 600% increase among people 40 to 49 and more than 500% among people 50 to 59 in the same period.
Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases nationwide among all age groups grew by 319% during that same window of time, the report found.
Although increasing numbers of younger people are becoming infected with the virus, Covid-19 deaths are still more common among older people, the report noted.
The new analysis comes as the country struggles to contain the pandemic, and as local coronavirus variant P.1 rips through the country. On Monday, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro changed six top ministers, including officials charged with defense and foreign affairs, after officially ousting the country’s health minister last week.
More than 12,573,615 cases have been confirmed since the pandemic began, and 313,866 Covid-related deaths have been confirmed.
On Thursday last week, Brazil’s Health Ministry announced that more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases had been confirmed in that day alone – the country’s highest such figure since the pandemic began.