Brazil faces dark week as Covid-19 toll rises

Brazil faces dark week as Covid-19 toll rises

The weekend was a nightmare to Brazil / Image=Wikipedia

[Newsphopick=Gyubin Lee] On Monday, the Ministry of Health announced 11,687 new cases of coronavirus had been confirmed over the last 24 hours, bringing its total number of cases to over 374,800. More than 23,400 Brazilians have died so far. 

The increase follows a grim milestone over the weekend: On Saturday, Brazil overtook Russia to become the country with the most confirmed cases of Covid-19 after the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.

That was the night that Bolsonaro and his security team left Brasilia's presidential palace and made an impromptu stop at a hot dog stand. While local media captured the president eating his snack, people could be heard yelling "killer" and "trash" and banging pots and pans from their windows. The President at one point turned and wagged his finger at the crowd. 

While the country's number of confirmed cases and death rate soar, Bolsonaro has referred to the virus as a "little flu" and frequently downplayed its risks. Two health ministers have left his cabinet in the past few weeks -- one was fired and the other resigned -- after disagreements over how to handle the pandemic. 

Bolsonaro has repeatedly expressed concern about the financial impact of the virus, warning it will be worse than the virus itself. He has been outspoken against preventive measures, like lockdowns and quarantines, imposed by governors and mayors of some of the most impacted places in Brazil. 

His supporters seem to agree. On Sunday, crowds gathered outside Planalto Presidential Palace in Brasilia waving banners and flags in support of Bolsonaro and protesting the lockdown measures. The rallies have been happening nearly every weekend and are usually broadcast live on Bolsonaro's personal Facebook account. 

In video footage of the latest rally, Bolsonaro could be seen with and without a mask as he greeted excited supporters cheering behind a barrier. At one point, a young girl slipped past the barrier and hugged him, while he wasn't wearing a mask.

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