Nearly 1,000 new deaths had been recorded in Brazil over the past 24 hours, bringing its total of coronavirus fatalities to 28,834. With the recent increase, Brazil has surpassed France in the number of recorded deaths. Even if France were to surpass Brazil’s death toll, data show that the latter’s figures are on a much steeper upward trend.
Only the United States, the United Kingdom and Italy have logged more fatalities from COVID-19.
President Jair Bolsonaro has been consistent in downplaying the pandemic, despite his country having the second highest number of confirmed infections in the world. The latest count from Johns Hopkins University puts Brazil’s total number of cases at 498,440, next only to the US tally of 1.77 million.
Bolsonaro has long criticised lockdowns imposed by state governors and local leaders for damaging the country’s economy and jobs. He has been openly against what he calls “the tyranny of total quarantine” and even called for the resumption of Brazil’s football season. He has also been spotted in Brasilia mingling with hundreds of supporters without wearing a face mask.