Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro On April 17 reportedly called for the reopening of the country’s borders and also conceded that he may be blamed if the coronavirus outbreak worsens. Brazil, which is South America’s largest economy, pushes to restart as the lockdown measure has affected the economy of the country. Bolsonaro reportedly said that opening trade is a risk, but he added that if the outbreak gets worse, it will fall on his lap.
Earlier this week, the Brazilian President also fired his health minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, after disagreements with him over lockdown measures. Mandetta had been encouraging social distancing and supporting governors for imposing lockdown, however, Bolsonaro argued that it is overly damaging the economy. The President also discussed the possibility of reopening land borders, particularly those with Uruguay and Paraguay, with Justice Minister Sergio Moro.
Brazil closed its borders last month to nonresident foreigners. The country also withdrew all its remaining diplomatic staff from Venezuela. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country. Currently, Brazil has more than 34,000 confirmed cases and the deadly virus has claimed nearly 2,171 lives.
The Brazilian medical experts reportedly said that the outbreak of the coronavirus is still far from its peak. Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria also extended the social isolation order in the state through May 10. Meanwhile, a recent study revealed that the country likely has 12 times more infections than are being officially reported by the government. The study estimates that only 8% of total cases are being officially reported in the largest South American country, hence, the death rate is higher than normal.
Coronavirus, which originated in China in December 2019, has now claimed over 154,000 lives worldwide as of April 18. According to the tally by an international news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 210 countries and territories and has infected more than 2.2 million people. Out of the total infections, more than 574,000 have recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities have been put under lockdown in almost all countries including Spain, and the economy is struggling.