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. This comes as Brazil has now become the sixth worst-hit country by the COVID-19 pandemic with over 13,999 fatalities.
"This story about lockdown, closing everything, that is not the path. That is the path to failure, to breaking Brazil,” he asserted while speaking at a press briefing.
He also reckoned that quarantine measures introduced across many states by governors were making the crisis worse. “Brazil is turning into a country of poor people", he said. Elaborating further, the Brazilian leader said that if it continued this way, soon there would not be any money to pay to public sector workers.
Earlier this week, 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.
In an apparent comparison of life and employment, the Brazilian President told the reporters that the “question of life” has to be taken in “parallel” with jobs. He said that there is no life, no doctors, and no medical supplies without the economy. However, Health Minister Nelson Teich told a news conference that the ministry was oblivious of Bolsonaro’s decision regarding gyms and beauty salons.
The Latin American country witnessed its highest daily spike in new cases on May 14, with nearly 14,000 infections in 24 hours. This has taken the total number of positive cases to 203,165.