- The decision has been issued by a magistrate from the Federal District of Brasilia, Renato Borelli.
- The president has previously described the deadly virus as a 'little flu' and has on several occasions traveled around Brasilia without donning a mask.
- According to the judge, in case Bolsonaro insists on appearing in public places without the mask, he shall be fined just like everyone else.
A Brazilian judge has today ordered that President Jair Bolsonaro must wear a face mask as a preventive measure against the coronavirus when he appears in public. It is a measure that the president hasn’t been putting into consideration on many occasions during his public appearances.
The decision has been issued by a magistrate from the Federal District of Brasilia, Renato Borelli. Since last March, the use of masks in public places was made a mandatory, as per a decree of the region’s local authorities. Bolsonaro is one of the world leaders who are strongly in denial, in as far as the seriousness of the coronavirus is concerned, and its severity.
The president has previously described the deadly virus as a “little flu,” and has on several occasions traveled around Brasilia without donning a mask. The president has also previously participated in demonstrations in which other regulations adopted during the pandemic, such as keeping social distance between people, haven’t been observed.
According to the judge, in case Bolsonaro insists on appearing in public places without the mask, he shall be fined to a tune of 2,000 reais ($387, or £310) per day, as is the case with every citizen residing in the Federal District. Ten days ago, the law was applied to the country’s former Minister of Education, Abraham Weintraub, who attended demonstrations without the mandatory mask.
Brazil, Second Most Affected by Coronavirus
Brazil is the second-most affected country in the world by the COVID-19 pandemic, behind the United States. As of Tuesday, it has more than 51,000 deaths and 1.1 million cases.
Despite the high death rate proving the seriousness of the pandemic, President Bolsonaro has rather remained defiant owing to his actions. In addition to making public appearances without donning a mask, Bolsonaro also carelessly greeted his supporters by hand.
At one rally, the Brazillian president shocked many people after he was captured on camera coughing without covering his mouth. On another occasion, he was filmed while sneezing into his hand and shaking the hand of an elderly woman shortly afterward.
The requirement to wear masks while in public places in the federal district was effected on April 30 by the governor of the federal district, Ibaneis Rocha. It dictates that everyone therein should always cover their nose and mouth in all public spaces, including public transport, shops, and commercial and industrial premises.
The COVID-19 pandemic has so far caused more than 472,000 deaths and infected more than 9.1 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report prepared by the French news agency, AFP. The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus that was detected in late December last year, in Wuhan, a city in central China.
After Europe succeeded China as the center of the pandemic in February, the American continent is now the one with the highest number of confirmed cases and the highest number of deaths.