Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on March 27, reportedly claimed that he was highly sceptical of his own government's coronavirus statistics. The President added that he felt perhaps the numbers of infected in Brazil were greatly inflated in order to serve some ulterior or political motive. The Brazilian leader has also criticized the overblown reaction to the coronavirus, which he calls a ‘little flu’.
According to reports, Bolsonao is especially critical of the coronavirus cases being reported in Sao Paulo and has also called out its governor for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. Sao Paulo is an industrial hub of Brazil and is one of the hardest-hit regions in Latin America. Majority of the coronavirus related deaths in Brazil have taken place in Sao Paulo.
As per reports, during an interview, the Brazilian President questioned the figures coming out of Sao Paulo and said that perhaps those numbers had been inflated in order to serve political interests. Bolsonaro has also criticized Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria for ordering businesses to remain closed and for people to stay within their homes in an effort to contain the outbreak. Joao Doria is also a conservative and also a former ally of Bolsonaro who has recently turned into a political rival for Brazil’s presidency.
Bolsonaro has also said that Sao Paulo’s approach to tackling the virus will wreck the economy and people will soon realize that the Governor of the region overdid it. Joao Doria, on the other hand, has said that half the world is staying at home in an attempt to stop the virus but somehow it is only Bolsonaro calls it just a ‘little flu’.
On March 27, a Brazilian court blocked a decree by President Jair Bolsonaro that exempted places of worship from coronavirus confinement orders. A federal court in Rio de Janeiro state ruled religious services posed a public health risk at a time when the new coronavirus is spreading rapidly around the world.
Bolsonaro has clashed with local authorities who have closed schools and businesses in places such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in a bid to contain the virus. The president, who has called the reaction to the pandemic "overblown," says such measures are unnecessary and will wreck Latin America's biggest economy.
(With inputs from agency)