BRAZIL: President tells citizens ‘stop crying’ as deaths hit record highs

(ABC.NET) – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsanaro has told citizens to “stop whining” about the pandemic — despite the nation recording two straight days of record deaths from COVID-19.

The President has also spoken about the urgency to lift restrictions.

Almost 1,800 people died on Friday, taking Brazil’s total death toll over 262,000 — the second highest in the world after the US.

The South American nation has registered nearly 10.9 million COVID-19 cases.

The inter-ministerial task force, which includes the Health Ministry and the office of the President’s chief of staff, met on Thursday to discuss the current situation of the pandemic.

Two sources present told Reuters the daily death toll was expected to reach 3,000 if serious action was not taken to halt the spread of the virus.

Despite the high death toll, the two sources said the Health Ministry did not see any chance of nationwide social distancing measures being implemented due to the resistance from the President.

Mr Bolsonaro has consistently played down the seriousness of the virus.

The Health Ministry, responding to a request for comment, said it did not produce estimates.

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