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‘The biggest threat to Brazil’s Covid-19 response is its president’, Jair Bolsonaro, says The Lancet




Brazil is the second most tainted nation in the Americas, although, by estimates of Brazilian researchers is that the number of cases must be a lot higher than reported due to less testing. So far, around 125,218 positive cases are recorded and 8,536 deaths in the country, with São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro provinces, severely hit.

According to the British medical journal ‘The Lancet’, Bolsonaro has over and again and publically disagreed with Brazil’s state governors for various strict measures such as social distancing and lockdown. Perhaps the greatest threat to Brazil’s coronavirus response is its leader, Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro has been broadly criticized for his poor handling of the Covid-19 crisis. Recently when he sacked the health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta and the news of resigning of Justice Minister Sergio Moro added to his critique. In the televised address to the nation, Bolsonaro has utilized weird phrases concerning the pandemic, for example, return to work”, “people die, that’s life”, and “So what? I’m sorry, but what do you want me to do?”

Toward the end of March, former health minister Mandetta expressed that the poor section of the society in Brazil lives nearby and in fairly small houses. It will be hard to control the pandemic in case it reached them. Our medical facility is fragile and hospitals will be overwhelmed if protocols are not properly obeyed, he included.

Despite the severity of the situation, President Bolsonaro disagreed with Mandetta on increasing lockdown and self-quarantine steps as according to him it would hinder the economy and increase unemployment.The Lancet journal stated that Bolsonaro’s negligence and frequent reckless statements have confused the citizens of Brazil, which showed a record number of Covid-19 deaths on Friday and beginning to emerge as global coronavirus hotspots.

The challenge is eventually political, requiring commitment by Brazil’s President and its society in general. Brazil as a nation must come together and fight the world’s biggest health crisis ever. But, firstly, there is a need for its leader to change its course, set a good example, or either be the next one to leave.

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