Brazil’s Coronavirus Outbreak Now Fourth Largest In The World
Brazil has become the forth country with the largest COVID-19 cases in the world, a new report has shown.
Brazil’s health ministry registered 14,919 new confirmed cases in the prior 24 hours, taking the total to 233,142, behind the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom. Brazil has done just a fraction of the testing seen in those three countries.
The global distinction is likely to pile pressure on President Jair Bolsonaro, who lost his second health minister in a month on Friday as he defies public health experts and calls for widespread use of unproven drugs.
Bolsonaro has been fiercely critical of the orders by many of Brazil’s state governors for strict social isolation and quarantine to combat the spread of the virus, including the closure of schools, shops and restaurants. Bolsonaro argues that the toll on the economy is becoming unbearable and businesses must be allowed to reopen as soon as possible. The government now expects Brazil will post its biggest annual economic contraction this year since records began over a century ago.
Nationwide testing in Brazil still lags far behind European nations. Brazil had processed nearly 338,000 novel coronavirus tests in official labs by the beginning of the week, according to the health ministry. Another 145,000 tests were under analysis or waiting in line. By contrast, Italy and Spain have each run some 1.9 million official diagnostic tests for the virus.