Brazil records 67,000 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours

By Martina Farmbauer (dpa)

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro gestures as he wears a protective mask during a news conference, amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brasilia, Brazil March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

HAVANA TIMES – Brazil has seen a record number of new coronavirus infections, with 67,860 new cases in a 24-hour period, the health ministry said in the capital Brasilia late Wednesday.

In total, more than 2.2 million infections have been registered in the largest and most populous country in Latin America. At least

82,771 people have died in connection with Covid-19, the lung disease caused by the virus.

Brazil is currently one of the focal points of the international coronavirus pandemic. The real figures are believed to be far higher due to insufficient testing in the South American country, which has 210 million inhabitants.

Brazil’s far-right populist president, Jair Bolsonaro, had initially downplayed the novel coronavirus as “a little flu,” causing confusion among the population about the seriousness of the disease.

He also did not want to take any containment measures for economic reasons and refused protective measures.

Bolsonaro – who said he tested positive for the coronavirus two weeks ago – has delegated responsibility for combating the pandemic to state governors and mayors.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Communications confirmed that Bolsonaro had another positive test.

The 65-year-old is in good health, the ministry told dpa by email.

Bolsonaro has no fever and his breathing, heartbeat and blood pressure are normal, CNN Brazil reported.

He is currently working from his residence. Several of his ministers have also been diagnosed with Covid-19.