Report By: Nandika Chand | Last Update June 5, 2020
Brazil, for a third consecutive day, recorded 1,437 deaths in the last 24-hours and over 30,000 new COVID-19 cases. The country’s health ministry has confirmed 614,941 cases. This has pushed the Latin American nation past Italy and the United Kingdom into the top 3 countries with the highest number of novel coronavirus cases and deaths with the US in the lead.
However, experts say under-testing in Brazil means the actual figures are probably much higher. And the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been down playing the pandemic since it began. He has criticised social distancing rules and urged regional governments to lift restrictions for the nation’s economy.
Bolsonaro even told businesses to wage war on state governors who ordered business closures and argued that they are hurting Latin America’s biggest economy. The President, in a live Facebook session, encouraged the federal solicitor general to sue states to force them into reopening their beaches.
As COVID-19 grips Brazil, authorities are shying away from imposing social distancing rules to contain the spread. On Thursday, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella allowed more than 10,000 street vendors to go back to work.