São Paulo’s daily death count sees record high

The state is in its worst week; ICU admissions also face all-time high

Published in 03/03/2021 - 12:46 By Agência Brasil* - Brasília and São Paulo

São Paulo stands atop the ranking of Brazil’s pandemic figures. In 24 hours, the state reported 468 deaths—the highest since the country was surprised by the first fatality caused by COVID-19, a year ago. A total of 60,014 patients have been reported killed by the disease.

This was the second time in the year the count tops 400 deaths a day. The first had been observed on February 9, when 424 fatalities were confirmed. The highest number of deaths until then was August 13’s 455.

In an interview with journalists on Tuesday, São Paulo Governor João Doria admitted that this is the worst week since the first case of the disease was registered. “We are in the worst week for COVID-19 in the history of the pandemic, starting on February 26, [2020]. Not just in Sâo Paulo—the other states too. I have talked to governors in other states. There’s generalized concern among health secretaries,” the governor said. Doria added no measure will be ruled out in the efforts to curb the virus, including a lockdown.

In addition to the all-time high in fatalities, the state of São Paulo this week is witnessing the highest number of patients hospitalized with a severe state. On Tuesday, 7,410 people were in an intensive care unit. At the peak of pandemic figures, in July last year, the amount was 6,250. ICU occupancy rate are currently at 75.5 percent in the Great São Paulo area and 74.3 percent in the state, and both on the rise. A week ago, on February 23, rates stood at approximately 68 percent.

Patients’ profile and ICU stay time in the state has also changed. “In the first wave, we had 80 percent of patients elderly and with chronic diseases and obesity. What we’re seeing today is younger patients—about 60 percent [of all patients hospitalized]--aged 30 through 50, many of them with no previous condition. These are the same people who feel comfortable to go out. They think they’ll lose only their sense of smell and taste, and end up losing their lives,” said São Paulo Health Secretary Jean Gorinchteyn. “And they’re staying in intensive care for longer too. Before, the average was seven to ten days hospitalized. Today, it’s 14 to 17 days at the shortest,” he added.

The country

The number of people who died due to complications arising from COVID-19 in Brazil went up to 257,361. In 24 hours, 1,641 deaths were registered.

The total amount of people infected with the novel coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic has reached 10,587,001. In 24 hours, 59,925 new cases were confirmed by sanitary authorities.

The data can be found in the daily update released Tuesday (Mar. 2) by the Ministry of Health. The document combines data provided by state health secretariats across the country.

There are a total of 862,392 people with an active case of the illness being monitored by health professionals; 9,527,173 patients have recovered.


After São Paulo (60,014) on the list of Brazilian states with the highest death counts are Rio de Janeiro (33,176), Minas Gerais (18,645), and Rio Grande do Sul (12,654). Those with the lowest number of fatalities are Acre (1,020), Roraima (1,114), Amapá (1,144), Tocantins and (1,539).

In number of cases São Paulo also ranks first, with 2,054,867, followed by Minas Gerais (887,080), Bahia (689,454), Santa Catarina (681,391), and Paraná (656,410).

*Elaine Patrícia Cruz contributed to this article.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Aline Leal / Nira Foster

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