Decree ends Brazil's Covid health emergency
Brasilia, April 23 (IANS) Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga signed a decree ending the Covid-19 public health emergency, effective 30 days after its publication in the Official Gazette.
In its decision to lift the emergency, which has been in force since February 2020, the Health Ministry took into account the national public health system's response capacity, the improved epidemiological situation and the wide vaccination coverage against the virus, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Brazil has registered an 80 per cent decrease in the moving average of Covid-19 cases and deaths compared to the peak from the Omicron variant earlier this year," the Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
In addition, almost 74 per cent of the Brazilian population are fully immunised, while 81 per cent have receive a first vaccine dose and over 74 million people have been given a booster dose, it added.
However, the Ministry emphasized the importance of the vaccination campaign, even after the end of the Covid-19 public health emergency.
It added that immunization against Covid-19 is essential to maintain transmission control and that Brazilians must complete the vaccination schedule with both doses and a booster dose.
Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, Brazil has registered a total of 30,338,697 Covid-19 cases and 662,802 deaths.
The country's caseload is the third highest in the world after the US and India, while its death toll is the second largest after the US.