Brazil now has the fourth-largest coronavirus outbreak in the world, surpassing former epicenter Italy in the number of confirmed cases. President Bolsonaro continues to downplay the virus and slammed lockdown measures.
Brazil overtook Spain and Italy in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, making it the fourth-largest outbreak in the world.
The country’s total number of cases rose to 233,142 after authorities logged 14,919 new cases, according to data form Brazil’s Health Ministry.
A total of 15,633 people have died due to the coronavirus in the country so far, with the country registering 816 new fatalities over the past 24 hours.
Experts have warned that due to under-testing, the actual figures could be as much as 15 times higher, cautioning that the worst could be yet to come.
Bolsonaro downplaying virus
Despite the rising case numbers and fatalities, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the outbreak, dismissing the virus as a “little flu.”
He has also continued to attack lockdown measures implemented by some governors to contain the spread of the virus, and calling for businesses to reopen
“Unemployment, hunger and misery will be the future of those who support the tyranny of total isolation,” the far-right president tweeted.
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His remarks came a day after Health Minister Nelson Teich resigned from his post after less than a month on the job.
Only the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom have logged more case than Brazil, but the South American country has carried out only a fraction of the tests than those three other countries.