Brazil’s Covid-19 death toll nears 179,000

Brazil registered 836 new coronavirus fatalities in the last 24 hours, which increased the overall death toll to 178,995, said the Ministry of Health.

Besides the new deaths, the country also reported 53,453 new cases on Wednesday, raising the nationwide tally to 6,728,452, reports Xinhua news agency.

With the two new tallies, Brazil currently accounts for the world’s second-highest Covid-19 death toll, after the US, and the third-largest caseload, after the US and India.

Also on Wednesday, the Brazilian government announced that it could start using Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines this month or in January upon approval by the country’s health authorities.

Immunization can happen “at the end of January or even in December” once national health regulator Anvisa grants “emergency authorization” to pharmaceutical firm Pfizer to use its vaccine, Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said in a televised interview with CNN.

On Tuesday when Pfizer’s vaccines kicked off application in the UK, the Brazilian government announced a deal inked with the pharmaceutical company on a 70-million-dose purchase.

The government has also struck with AstraZeneca a 100-million-dose deal.

Meanwhile, Joao Doria, the governor of Sao Paulo state, announced that the country’s Butantan Institute will present the results of its trials of Chinese vaccine CoronaVac on 13,000 Brazilians to the Health Regulatory Agency on December 15.