South America

No lockdown despite surging cases in Brazil: Bolsonaro

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during a swearing-in ceremony at the Planalto Presidential Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil. Bolsonaro’s latest education minister offered his resignation Tuesday, June 30, 2020, just days after his appointment, creating a new headache for the embattled leader as he struggles to start a new chapter at the ministry and shore up flagging support.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday stood firm in his opposition against a nationwide lockdown despite a surge in infections and deaths caused by COVID-19.

“There will be no nationwide lockdown,” Bolsonaro said in a speech in Chapeco, a city in the southern state of Santa Catarina where, like many other parts of Brazil, hospital service has collapsed since February due to a new wave of COVID-19 cases.

“We will not accept the policy of staying at home, closing down business, lockdown. The virus, like others, came to stay and will stay. It is almost impossible to eradicate it,” he said.

Instead, it was necessary to provide healthcare professionals with the “tools to choose alternatives, such as treatments” for victims of COVID-19, said Bolsonaro.

Brazil’s worsening outbreak has become a global concern, especially since more contagious variants of the coronavirus have emerged in the country’s northern Amazon region.

The South American country on Tuesday registered 4,195 daily COVID-19 deaths, raising the pandemic death toll to 336,947.

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