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Brazil suffers record daily coronavirus death toll, soon to be world No 2

Has a total of 310 087 confirmed cases as of Thursday.
Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's president. Image: Andre Coelho/Bloomberg

Brazil suffered a record of 1,188 daily coronavirus deaths on Thursday and is fast approaching Russia to become the world’s No. 2 Covid-19 hot spot behind the United States.

Brazil also passed 20 000 deaths on Thursday and has 310 087 confirmed cases, up over 18 500 in a single day, according to Health Ministry data. The true numbers are likely higher but Brazil has not carried out widespread testing, the ministry said.

President Jair Bolsonaro is under growing pressure for his handling of the outbreak, which looks set to destroy the Brazilian economy and threatens his re-election hopes. He strongly opposes social distancing measures and has repeatedly pushed for greater usage of chloroquine as a remedy for the virus, despite health experts’ warnings about risks.

Bolsonaro’s relationship with governors and mayors has also grown increasingly bitter. The president is angry over local shutdowns to slow the spread of the virus and argues that keeping the economy running is more important.

Bolsonaro said he will approve on Thursday or Friday a 60 billion-real ($10.72 billion) federal aid program for states and cities hit by coronavirus but asked governors for support freezing public sector pay increases.

The bill to distribute federal money to states and municipalities was approved by Congress earlier this month. However, Bolsonaro has not signed off on it due to pressure from Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, an avowed free-marketeer who wants more fiscal austerity.

In return for signing off on the aid package, Bolsonaro asked governors for their backing in specific measures freezing public sector pay increases for two years.

Speaking later on Thursday, Bolsonaro said it was normal for politicians to begin to lose some popularity after more than a year in office.

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Brazil is right in wanting to keep the economy going, but it’s wrong with masks and social distancing.

These last two are simple and fairly cheap ways to keep the virus at bay and, along with a vaccine, should be strongly persued

Bolsanaro is simply incapable. All rhetoric, fire and brimstone…but no substance. No leadership or management skills.

Mediocrity personified.

Brazil will be the prime example of what not to do, in the books and studies in the aftermath of this pandemic. USA will fall in this category as well. Unfortunately after the death of 10 000s of Brazilians, it is unlikely to slow down the destruction of the Amazon rain forests.

Bolsonaro is a real chop, and hopefully this will be the end of his presidency.

Not sure why you are saying the US is handling this badly? Look at there deaths per million in their population (289), way below Europe (Belgium 804, Spain 597, UK 542) and the countries who properly count deaths. Brazil has 297 deaths per million, but not sure how much testing they have done plus quality of stats on deaths. That is the problem with this entire outbreak reporting, no-one is giving context. US is +- 330 million, Brazil +-210 people, given that they are such huge countries they will end up high in death numbers almost by default. Unfortunately you always have to take the way the media reports data with a couple of pinches of salt!

End of comments.

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