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Brazil’s Bolsonaro hits the streets in latest social distancing snub

Jair Bolsonaro's popularity has fallen during the coronavirus crisis, with a growing number of Brazilians angered by his stance toward a disease he calls a "little cold.

By: Reuters | Rio De Janeiro | Updated: April 11, 2020 8:09:47 am
Brazil's Bolsonaro hits the streets in latest social distancing snub Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is seen in a neighbourhood Sudoeste, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brasilia, Brazil, April 10, 2020. (Reuters)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro took to the streets of Brasilia on Friday, drawing crowds and greeting followers in his latest public pushback against social isolation measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Bolsonaro, 65, a far-right former army captain, says the isolation measures mandated by state governors and his own public health officials are an unnecessary drag on the economy.

Bolsonaro’s popularity has fallen during the coronavirus crisis, with a growing number of Brazilians angered by his stance toward a disease he calls a “little cold.

“On Friday, a national holiday in Brazil, Bolsonaro went to a military hospital, before stopping at a pharmacy and then visiting one of his sons in a residential building, according to TV images and press reports.

At one of the stops, he was greeted by supporters who snapped photos and called his name. However, he was also subjected to criticism, with some Brasilia residents banging pots and pans in anger.

Critics say that Bolsonaro’s stance is chipping away at social distancing measures across Brazil.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that lockdowns in Brazil’s largest cities to slow the coronavirus outbreak are beginning to slip.

So far, 1,057 people have died from COVID-19 in Brazil, with 19,638 confirmed cases, according to the latest official figures on Friday.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?

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