- Brazil is now the coronavirus pandemic new epicenter, according to reports.
- The country has the “world’s highest rate of transmission” and the disease has claimed more than 20,000 lives.
- President Jair Bolsonaro has often downplayed the virus, calling it a “little flu.”
May 9, 2020 was a sad day for Brazil. At the time, reports have declared that the coronavirus pandemic has already claimed more than 10,000 lives in the country. But instead of grieving with his people and comforting the victims’ families, President Jair Bolsonaro was spotted riding his jetski and attending a barbecue party.
Netizens have since lambasted the Brazilian leader after his video went viral on social media. Still, Bolsonaro continued to downplay the deadly disease, saying “there’s nothing to be done (about it).”
As of May 22, the country already has over 20,000 COVID-19 deaths with 321,074 infected individuals.
A Time Magazine article has since tagged Brazil as “the new global epicenter of the pandemic, with the world’s highest rate of transmission and a health system now teetering on the brink of collapse.”
Brazil has surpassed both Spain, United Kingdom, and Italy in terms of confirmed coronavirus cases, with only United States and Russia ahead of it.
Some researchers believe that the grim figures may not exactly be the whole picture as the country lacks testing capabilities. Plus the president has remained lax in his response against the outbreak. He has also called the virus as a “tiny flu” and joined protesters in opposing government officials in opposing social distancing orders.
In the Amazon region, mass graves have been photographed, showing just how serious the problem already is.
Anya Prusa, senior associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute in Washington, has summed it up this way:
“Everyone who’s been watching Brazil, who’s been seeing the numbers increase day after day, week after week, knew that it was headed in this direction. It’s not a surprise, but it is a real humanitarian tragedy.”
Moreover, health minister Nelson Teich quit his job only weeks after he was appointed. He has been slammed by Bolsonaro for not endorsing anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment and for hesitating to push for the reopening of the economy. Teich did not specify the reason behind his resignation.
Watch this video report to learn more:
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