The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines

By Julia Hollingsworth, Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN

Updated 7:23 PM ET, Mon March 22, 2021
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2:41 a.m. ET, March 22, 2021

Brazil's health system remains near collapse amid coronavirus surge

From CNN's Rodrigo Pedroso

Medical staff members transport a patient on a stretcher at the Pedro DellAntonia Sports Complex field hospital in Santo Andre, Brazil, on March 11.
Medical staff members transport a patient on a stretcher at the Pedro DellAntonia Sports Complex field hospital in Santo Andre, Brazil, on March 11. Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

Brazil reported Sunday that intensive care units in 25 out of 27 states are at least 80% full.

Of those, 14 have an ICU occupancy of over 90%, meaning they are overwhelmed or on the verge of collapse.

Two states in the south, Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso do Sul, have reached capacity of over 100%. 

No states have ICU occupancy rates below 70%, and only two have occupancy below 80% -- Amazonas with 77.6% and Roraima with 72%.

Over the past week, Brazil’s Health Ministry has reported two of the highest numbers of new cases in a 24-hour period since January, topping well over 90,000 new daily cases on those two occasions.

COVAX doses arrive: The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines sent through the COVAX program arrived in Brazil on Sunday, the country's communication minister Fabio Faria announced on Twitter.

"In this first batch, there are 1,022,400 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford immunizer. Another 1.9 million doses are expected to be released by the end of the month," Faria said.

The contract signed between the federal government and the World Health Organization estimates that 42.5 million doses will be delivered by the end of the year. So far, it's established that the first 9.1 million doses will be the AstraZeneca vaccine, shipped through the end of May.

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2:49 a.m. ET, March 22, 2021

Miami Beach officers shoot pepper balls into spring break crowds to enforce emergency curfew

From CNN's Melissa Alonso and Theresa Waldrop

People leave the area as an 8pm curfew goes into effect in Miami Beach, Florida, on March 21.
People leave the area as an 8pm curfew goes into effect in Miami Beach, Florida, on March 21. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Miami Beach Police fired pepper balls into crowds of partiers and arrested at least a dozen people late Saturday as the city took extraordinary measures to crack down on spring breakers who officials have said are out of control.

The aggressive enforcement actions came just hours after Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber declared a state of emergency and set an 8 p.m. curfew, saying the crowds that have descended on the city recently are "more than we can handle."

"Too many are coming, really, without the intention of following the rules, and the result has been a level of chaos and disorder that is just something more than we can endure," Gelber told CNN's Ana Cabrera.

Saturday night, hundreds of mostly maskless people remained in the streets well after the 8 p.m. curfew. With sirens blaring, police opened fire with pepper balls -- a chemical irritant similar to paint balls -- into the crowd, causing a stampede of people fleeing, video from CNN affiliate WPLG shows.

Police in Miami Beach said early Sunday they arrested at least a dozen people following the start of the curfew.

"Officers began dispersing crowds at 8 p.m. and ultimately achieved a satisfactory level of compliance," police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez told CNN.

More than 50 people have been arrested and eight firearms confiscated since Friday, according to a tweet from the Miami Beach Police Department on Sunday.

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