Brazil, sixth worst-hit in world, sees Covid-19 curve steepening
The overall number of global coronavirus cases has increased to over 5.3 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.Updated: May 24, 2020 09:36 IST
Brazil’s coronavirus curve steepened further a day after it overtook Russia to become the country with the second-highest number of cases.
The Latin American nation added 16,508 cases Saturday and said the death toll rose by 965. Brazil now ranks sixth in the world for fatalities.
The country now has 3,47,398 confirmed cases of Covid-19, according to the country’s health ministry.
The actual number of cases and deaths is believed to be higher than the official figures disclosed by the government, as Brazil’s testing capacity still lags.
President Jair Bolsonaro has been fiercely criticised for his handling of the outbreak, which has led to the exit of two health ministers amid his insistence in opposing social distancing measures while advocating the use of unproven drugs for treatment.
A video of a cabinet meeting in Brazil has emerged which has triggered outrage in the country. President Bolsonaro barely mentions the pandemic in the meeting, according to the video, which has fuelled a potentially explosive investigation.
One of the few mentions of Covid-19 in the video was when the environment minister said the government should take advantage of the distraction created by the pandemic to relax the country’s environmental protection rules.
Littered with obscenities, insults, tirades and potentially incriminating statements, the video triggered outcry in Brazil, where many questioned the government’s policy-making amid the pandemic.
Brazilian media counted 39 swear words in all in the video, including 31 by the president. Bolsonaro called two state governors a “piece of shit” and “pile of manure” for defying him by imposing coronavirus stay-at-home measures, according to local media.
The video’s existence emerged when popular justice minister Sergio Moro resigned two days after the meeting, accusing Bolsonaro of inappropriate “political interference” in the federal police.
Police are reportedly investigating multiple cases involving Bolsonaro and his inner circle, including allegations that his son Carlos, a Rio de Janeiro city councilor, oversaw a fake-news campaign to benefit his father.
Bolsonaro, meanwhile, denies trying to stifle investigations, and said the video proved the accusations against him were a “farce.”
Meanwhile, the overall number of global coronavirus cases has increased to over 5.3 million, while the death toll surged past 3,42,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.