Brazil has become one of the centres of South America’s growing coronavirus crisis with more than 2,000 confirmed infections and dozens of deaths. The country of 210 million, however, is not even remotely ready to respond to this unprecedented public health emergency.
The federal government led by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been trying to downplay the severity of the threat facing the country ever since experts around the world first sounded the alarm about the highly contagious virus in early January.
So far, the president has claimed that the disease is just “a fantasy” and “a little flu”, accused the media of fuelling hysteria by reporting on the death toll in Italy, encouraged – and even attended – a series of pro-government street demonstrations across the country and supported religious leaders who refused to close down churches and evangelical temples in response to the pandemic.
Full article at Al Jazeera’s website. Date of publication: 25/03/2020.