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Covid-19: Why have deaths soared in Brazil?

Brazil has recorded more than 330,000 deaths from Covid, second only to the United States, and experts are warning the current surge in cases may not peak for several weeks.

The rapid spread of a coronavirus variant first discovered in Brazil has been a major cause for concern around the world.

President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently played down the severity of the virus, but he is now turning his focus to the nationwide vaccination drive which his critics say has come far too late.

What has Bolsonaro said about Covid?
The president has been highly sceptical about the need to take decisive action to tackle the pandemic:

  • He has called Covid "just a little flu"
  • Rejected a nationwide lockdown, saying such measures only made the poor poorer
  • Called state governors and mayors who imposed lockdown "tyrants"
  • Cast doubts on the efficacy and safety of jabs and said he wouldn't get vaccinated
  • Joked the Pfizer jab may "turn people into crocodiles"
  • Dismissed opportunities to purchase millions of vaccine doses
  • Told people to "stop whining" about the situation

He continues to oppose lockdowns, but his government has now stepped up its drive to vaccinate the country's population of more than 200 million people.

Source: BBC

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