- Experts have blamed this development on the lack of national coordination in fighting the disease.
- During the global pandemic, the country has lost two health ministers.
- President Bolsonaro is himself still battling the virus.
As the global pandemic continues to batter the world, coronavirus cases in Brazil have surpassed the 2 million mark, with more than 77,000 deaths. The country is ranked second in both, after the United States. However, experts have argued that the numbers could be higher.
They have blamed this development on the lack of national coordination in fighting the disease. During the global pandemic, the country has lost two health ministers.
Nelson Tiech resigned after being in office for less than a month. He took over office after Luiz Henrique Mandetta was fired on April 26. The president had criticized him publicly for urging people to observe social distance and to stay at home. Mandetta, a popular minister had criticized the president for downplaying the virus.
The Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, who has occasionally flouted the measures to curb the pandemic, is currently battling the virus. The right-wing leader has quarantined at the presidential residence in Brasilia, and said he was taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug that has not been proven effective against the coronavirus. Bolsonaro said that he has not experienced any serious symptoms.
He tested positive for COVID-19 on July 7, and on Wednesday, he announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19 again. “I did the test yesterday, and at night the result came back that I am still positive for coronavirus,” Bolsonaro said. “I hope that in the coming days I will do another test and, God willing, everything will be all right to return soon to activity.” According to the World Health Organization, mild cases take around two weeks for one to recover.
Bolsonaro tested positive just three days after he had lunch at the home of the US ambassador to Brazil, Chapman Todd. He had earlier posted photos he took during the luncheon on social media. He did not have a mask on. Bolsonaro has, however, insisted that he is fine.
The 65 year-old began feeling unwell on Sunday, and the situation is said to have worsened on Monday. He had stated that he would test for the disease after having an x-ray of his lungs on Monday. In May, the country’s Supreme Court published documents that showed that Bolsonaro tested negative thrice in March after meeting with the US president, Donald Trump, in Florida.
President Bolsonaro has continually downplayed the virus. He compared it to a “little flu” on March 24. He also said that Brazilians were immune to the virus, and because they had already been infected, they had antibodies that could fight the virus. Despite this, the numbers of infections continue to rise.
The President had received criticism from across the political divide for dismissing the threat of the virus in the country. The political leaders in the country said that it was irresponsible for Bolsonaro to have participated in anti-lockdown protests. The President had on a number of occasions been seen in public without wearing a mask.
In May, he posted a video on his Facebook account where he did not wear a mask, and was seen shaking hands and waving at the crowd. The president has always been against the quarantine and stay at home measures, and has dismissed the fact that social distancing could flatten the curve.