Workers carry out the burial of a Covid-19 victim at the Vila Formosa Cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 11.
Workers carry out the burial of a Covid-19 victim at the Vila Formosa Cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 11. Fernando Bizerra/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The State of Sao Paulo registered a total of 1,021 deaths in 24 hours, according to the state health secretary on Tuesday. The figure is the highest registered since the beginning of the pandemic.

The deadliest day for the state in terms of the pandemic was seven days ago, on March 16, when 679 people died in 24 hours. In total, 68,623 people in São Paulo have lost their lives to Covid-19.

The health system is also close to collapse, with 91.9% of the intensive care unit beds in the state occupied. On Monday, there were 29,039 Covid-19 patients hospitalized in Sao Paulo, 12,168 of them in intensive care unit beds. On March 1, the number of hospitalized patients was 15,977, almost half the current number.

On Monday, the Council of Municipal Health Secretariats of Sao Paulo warned that 54 cities only have enough oxygen for the rest of the week.

In a news conference on the same day, governor João Doria announced a partnership with a private beverage company to build an oxygen plant in Ribeirao Preto, one of Sao Paulo state’s biggest cities.

In an interview with CNN’s Julia Chatterley on Monday, Brazil’s Sao Paulo state Governor Joao Doria called Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro a “psychopathic leader” and criticized the president’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are in one of those tragic moments in history when millions of people pay a high price for having an unprepared and psychopathic leader in charge of a nation,” he said on CNN’s First Move.

Doria said much of the deaths from the virus in Brazil could have been avoided if Bolsonaro had “acted with the responsibility that the position gives him.” He added that Bolsonaro made “unbelievable mistakes, the biggest one was having a political dispute with the governors who are trying to protect the population.”

Some more background: Bolsonaro has repeatedly opposed lockdowns and restrictive measures and has criticized governors and mayors for implementing them. He has also been seen greeting crowds of his supporters during the pandemic, without wearing a mask, and has advocated for drugs like hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus — a drug which has no proven effectiveness in combatting Covid-19.

Brazil now has over 12 million cases of coronavirus in the country, according to data from the health ministry.

CNN’s Julia Chatterley and Hira Humayun contributed reporting to this post.

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