Amid the latest escalation in the tiff between the Brazilian presidency and its health ministry, country’s Health Secretary Wanderson de Oliveira has resigned. The announcement was made by Brazil’s health department on April 15, after country’s Health Minister Henrique Mandetta reportedly said that he is likely to be fired by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro this week due to difference of opinion over country’s response to COVID-19 disease. Meanwhile, even though experts believe that Brazil has a higher number of actual infections, as of April 16, it has reported at least 28,912 coronavirus cases with 1,760 fatalities.
According to international media reports, in a news conference, Mandetta noted his differences with Bolsonaro and informed that he has initiated the discussions with the government to search for his replacement. The political downfall in Brazil came when the global infections have reached over two million and there’s not a single proven vaccine to the disease.
Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the coronavirus outbreak and at some instances even doubted his own governors, but Mandetta has vouched for lockdowns and strict measures to curb the spread of the pandemic. During the televised briefing, the Brazilian Health Minister said that Bolsonaro has “made clear that he would like a different position from Health ministry”. Mandetta also added that he is “offering a way forward based on science”.
Moreover, international news agency stated that Mandetta had initially refused Oliveira’s resignation because he was one of the main figures in Brazil’s fight against the fatal pathogen. According to a note sent by Oliveria to his team, seen by Reuters, he informed that their boss, Mandetta, would “likely to be fired in coming hours or days”. The same message was conveyed by Mandetta to his aides according to sources of news outlet who are familiar with the meeting.
After originating from China’s “wet markets”, the coronavirus has now claimed 134,720 lives worldwide as of April 16. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 210 countries and has infected at least 2,088,240 people. Out of the total infections, 515,854 have been recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities have been put under lockdown in almost all countries and the economy is struggling.
Image Source: AP