- While announcing this on Monday, White House officials did not give any specific reason for the drastic change.
- The Brazilian health ministry announced on Monday that the country had recorded 807 deaths from COVID-19 within the last 24 hours.
- This is higher than in the United States, which recorded 620 deaths.
The United States’ travel ban on Brazil has been brought forward by two days as Brazil recorded its highest number of deaths from coronavirus on Monday. The ban will now take effect as from Wednesday instead of Friday, as earlier stated by White House officials.
While announcing this on Monday, White House officials did not give any specific reason for the drastic change. The suspension states that non-Americans who have been in Brazil in the last 14 days will be denied entry to the US. The restriction will not affect trade between the two countries.
“The potential for undetected transmission of the virus by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States from the Federative Republic of Brazil threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security,” said the suspension order by White House.
The US President, Donald Trump, had earlier hinted on the possibility of imposing a travel ban on Brazil due to the rising number of coronavirus cases. The US has imposed several other travel bans in its effort to curb further spread of the virus. Currently, foreign nationals who have visited Iran, China, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the European Schengen area are barred from entering the US.
Brazil has become a major hotspot for the coronavirus cases. It currently has the second-highest caseload in the world after the US. The US leads the world in coronavirus cases with over 1.6 million cases. The South American country has recorded more than 370,000 cases with 23,522 deaths.
The Brazilian health ministry announced on Monday that the country had recorded 807 deaths from COVID-19 within the last 24 hours. The death toll was higher than the US, which recorded 620 deaths.
The travel ban is seen as a blow to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who views the US President as a role model. He has followed Trump’s footsteps in addressing the pandemic, especially in his opposition to social distancing calls and support for the use of chloroquine to fight the virus.
Brazil’s curve of infections and deaths continue to rise sharply, but President Bolsonaro seems not to take the matter seriously. On Sunday, he freely interacted with citizens without wearing a mask. Bolsanaro has also participated in anti-lockdown protests.
In one of them, he posted a video on his Facebook account whereby 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. He has repeatedly advocated for the use of chloroquine to remedy the virus despite the warnings from the experts.
Bolsonaro has widely been criticized for his poor handling of the coronavirus crisis in his country. He has done little to fight the virus, and has called it a “little flu.” He 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.