Brazil’s coronavirus death toll passes 150,000

Brazil's coronavirus death toll passes 150,000
President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of downplaying the risks of the coronavirus throughout the pandemic. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Brazil’s health minister said the country’s coronavirus death toll has passed 150,000.

Brazil has the second-highest coronavirus death toll in the world, after the United States, and the third-highest number of cases after the US and India.

It also passed five million total infections earlier this week.

President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of downplaying the risks of the coronavirus throughout the pandemic, ignoring expert advice on restrictive measures.

The country has by far the highest number of deaths in South America, and the state of São Paulo has been the worst hit.

Figures from the Brazilian health ministry reveals at least 150,198 people in Brazil have died of Covid since the first fatality was recorded in March, and 5,082,637 people have tested positive for the virus.

Colombia is the next worst-hit country in the region, where 27,495 people have died and there have been 894,300 confirmed cases.

However, the daily number of new cases in Brazil has been slowly falling since it plateaued in the summer, when there were about 1,000 new deaths per day for two months.

President Bolsonaro’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic – his decision to oppose lockdown measures and prioritise the economy – has been extremely divisive.

He has also been criticised for minimising the threat of the virus, including by calling it a “little flu”.

The president has repeatedly rejected this criticism and even when he himself became ill with the virus in July.

Brazil’s Vice-President Hamilton Mourão also defended the government’s approach in August and instead blamed a lack of discipline among Brazilians for the failure to limit the spread of the virus through social distancing measures.

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