The coronavirus pandemic in Brazil is expected to worsen significantly in the upcoming weeks as the country’s death toll continues to rise. In the past twenty-four hours, local authorities have reported over seven hundred coronavirus deaths, which makes the total death toll 79,488.
According to Brazil’s health ministry, the toll is likely to rise with the total number of confirmed infections rising above two million. In comparison with all other countries hit by the pandemic, Brazil is the second worst-hit after the United States as well as the epicenter of the infection in the continent of Latin America.
Even though the coronavirus health crisis in Brazil is worse than in many other countries, the country has been neglecting some of the most important guidelines for coronavirus control. Health professionals from around the world have stated that the crisis continues to accelerate in the country majorly due to president Jair Bolsonaro.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in the country, President Bolsonaro has been criticized for downplaying the danger of the crisis and the severity of the infection. He had also publically spoken about the infection saying that it was exaggerated by the media and not a ‘global threat’.
During a political rally held mid-March, the president was seen greeting the locals and interacting with other officials without following any necessary instructions for the prevention of the coronavirus infection such as maintaining six feet distance and wearing a mask.
In addition, Brazil’s Health Ministry has been seen to face severe difficulties in imposing coronavirus preventive measures primarily due to the president, who had also stopped authorities from banning inter-city and state travel and had called them ‘extreme measures’.
The president’s behavior has not only received backlash from the local populations but also other government officials. For instance, the governor of São Paulo, João Doria has consistently criticized the lack of action in order to control coronavirus spread from President Bolsonaro.
Even now, when coronavirus in Brazil has crossed two million cases, the president has continued to emphasize the need for reopening all businesses, workplaces, and even schools as he insists that it is far more important to bring back ‘normal life’ in the country.
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Along with lack of action to reduce coronavirus transmission, the country also continues to prescribe the notorious anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to patients, which was touted by the presidents of both Brazil and the US even though the medical community has repeatedly warned about its negative effects on the health of the heart.
Overall, Brazil’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been oddly similar to that of the United States, which is why it is no surprise that both are on top of the list of worst-hit countries in the world. Both Brazil and the US need to change strategies for handling the crisis, health experts say.
Coronavirus pandemic in Brazil is also unlikely to improve if the pandemic is managed in the same way as a second wave is expected in all countries with the start of autumn and colder months in a time span of few weeks.