Health Ministry of Brazil reportedly said that the nation recorded 674 new coronavirus deaths on May 18 and confirmed a total of 255,368 confirmed cases, with the third-highest number of infections after US and Russia. The ministry added that 16,853 people in Brazil have died from the outbreak. Meanwhile, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was criticised for his handling of the pandemic. The right-wing leader has been demanding the reopening of the Brazilian economy and had earlier encouraged people to violate lockdown measures put in place by governors and mayors. Bolsonaro on May 1 reportedly said that he wants people to return to work and restart the economy, downplaying the coronavirus threat.
Supporters of Bolsonaro and his policies took to the streets of Sao Paulo on May 17 to demonstrate against the lockdown restrictions put in place by states. According to the reports, last week, Health Minister Nelson Teich resigned, which makes the second top health official to resign from the post since the pandemic began. According to the international media reports, General Eduardo Pazuello is working as the interim Health Minister. As per the tally of the health ministry, São Paulo reportedly remains the worst-hit city with 63,066 cases and 4,823 deaths.
Out of the total, 100,459 have successfully recovered. However, 8,318 remain in critical condition. This comes as Brazilian authorities have conducted 735,224 tests on the population of 212,372,688. This comes as Brazilain President Jair Bolsonaro has warned that stringent social isolation measures would turn Brazil into a poor country with no money left to pay to the public sector workers. Bolsonaro has been opposing the lockdown and had claimed that more people would die out of poverty than the virus.
Last week, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced gyms and salons as essential services, further expanding the list of businesses allowed during the pandemic. Despite the continuous surge, Bolsonaro has been adamant about opening the businesses and has claimed that the local governments have gone overboard in physical distancing measures to contain the virus spread.
(Image Credit: AP)