Brazil has recorded more than 4,000 Covid-related deaths in 24 hours for the first time, as a more contagious variant fuels a surge in cases. Hospitals are overcrowded, with people dying as they wait for treatment in some cities, and the health system is on the brink of collapse in many areas. The country’s total death toll is now almost 337,000, second only to the US.
Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro is facing the biggest crisis of his presidency after the heads of the army, navy and air force all quit and the country recorded its highest daily Covid-19 death toll. The unprecedented resignation of the defence chiefs is being seen as a protest at attempts by Mr Bolsonaro to exert undue control over the military. Mr Bolsonaro’s popularity has plummeted over his response to Covid-19.
Health systems in most of Brazil’s largest cities are close to collapse because of Covid-19 cases, its leading health institute warns. More than 80% of intensive care unit beds are occupied in the capitals of 25 of Brazil’s 27 states, Fiocruz said. Experts warn that the highly contagious variant in Brazil may have knock-on effects in the region and beyond.
Rio de Janeiro delayed its annual Carnival parade for 2021, saying Thursday night that the global spectacle cannot go ahead in February because of Brazil’s continued vulnerability to the pandemic. Rio’s League of Samba Schools, LIESA, announced that the spread of the coronavirus has made it impossible to safely hold the traditional parades that are a cultural mainstay and, for many, a source of livelihood.
A top expert on isolated Amazon tribes in Brazil was killed by an arrow that struck him in the chest as he approached an indigenous group, friends and a police witness said on Thursday. Rieli Franciscato, 56, had spent his career as an official in the government’s indigenous affairs agency Funai, working to set up reservations to protect Brazil’s tribes.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday he tested positive for the novel coronavirus after months minimizing the severity of the pandemic and defying medical experts, even as the virus has killed more than 66,000 people in his country. The right-wing populist gave the news to reporters at his official residence standing just inches away from him, adding to criticism of his cavalier approach to the outbreak in Brazil.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been tested for the coronavirus, having reportedly shown symptoms, following months of downplaying the severity of the disease despite the country’s skyrocketing death toll. CNN Brasil reported Monday that the president personally told its reporters he was suffering from symptoms of the coronavirus, including a fever. Brazil has recorded more than 1.6 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
The Brazilian government has been accused of totalitarianism and censorship after it stopped releasing its total numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths and wiped an official site clean of swaths of data. Health ministry insiders told local media the move was ordered by far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, himself – and was met with widespread outrage in Brazil, one of the world’s worst-hit Covid-19 hotspots.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday the idea of creating an international alliance to save the Amazon rainforest would be treating Brazil like “a colony or no man’s land,” calling it an attack on the country’s sovereignty. On Twitter, Bolsonaro questioned the intentions behind French President Emmanuel Macron’s attempts to garner support for an international action plan to help preserve the Amazon.
Spanish police have arrested a member of the air force traveling with the Brazilian president’s advance party for the G20 summit in Japan after 39kg of cocaine was discovered in his luggage during a stopover in Seville. Bolsonaro confirmed the news in a statement on Tuesday night, saying he had been informed of the airman’s arrest by the defense minister.