Brazil tops 10,000 deaths from coronavirus

As Brazil passed the grim milestone of 10,000 deaths from coronavirus, the president continues to oppose stay-at-home orders.

A photograph taken with a drone of a burial of a person who died of COVID-19, in the Caju cemetery, in the northern area of Rio de Janeiro.

A photograph taken with a drone of a burial of a person who died of COVID-19, in the Caju cemetery, in the northern area of Rio de Janeiro. Source: EFE

Brazil, the hardest-hit Latin American country in the coronavirus pandemic, has surpassed 10,000 deaths, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health.
 
While Brazil's numbers are high, 10,627 deaths and 155,939 confirmed cases, scientists think the real figures could be 15 or even 20 times worse, given the country's inability to carry out widespread testing.
 
Congress and the Supreme Court decreed an official mourning period of three days and politicians asked Brazilians to follow health authorities' recommendations to reduce infection rates while the country prepares for "a safe and definitive return back to normal".
 
Meanwhile President Jair Bolsonaro, who opposes stay-at-home measures due to their impact on the country's economy, was seen jet skiing on Lake Paranoa in Brasilia, according to the Metropoles news website. 
A supporter of Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, holding a national, dances during a protest.
Source: AP

 
Officials told AFP he did not plan to make a statement on the country reaching 10,000 deaths.

In the last 24 hours alone, the nation saw 10,611 new cases and 730 fatalities, Brazil's second-highest daily death toll, after a record set on Friday (751 deaths).

'Situation is dire'

Resisting pressure from Mr Bolsonaro, the governors of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states have said they will extend the partial quarantine measures in force since March until the end of May. 
 
The pandemic has given rise to ongoing governmental clashes, pitting the president against governors and mayors who have implemented social distancing and confinement measures to contain the virus' spread - efforts supported by the country's Supreme Court.
 
In announcing that his state's lockdown would be prolonged, Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said on Friday: "We are at the height of this pandemic. The situation is dire."
 
His southeastern state of almost 46 million inhabitants has seen more than 3,600 deaths and over 44,400 cases.
 
Neighbouring Rio de Janeiro state, home to more than 16 million people, follows with 1,653 deaths and 16,929 infections. Less populated states such as Ceara, Pernambuco and Amazonas already have around a thousand dead each.
 
 
Amazonas, home to a number of indigenous tribes that are extremely vulnerable to the virus, has recorded 232 deaths per million inhabitants, almost three times the rate in Sao Paulo state.
 
While Brazil's coronavirus peak is not expected for several more weeks, seven states have already seen their intensive care units fill to 90 per cent capacity.
 
Mr Bolsonaro, who has compared the coronavirus to a "little flu," tweeted on Saturday that the country's "army of unemployed continues to grow" in reference to a factory closure in the northeast, before asking "is chaos coming?"
 
On Thursday the country's economy minister, Paulo Guedes, said Brazil could face "economic collapse" in a month's time due to stay-at-home measures.

According to the IMF, Brazil risks a 5.3 per cent contraction in GDP this year.
 
Worldwide the virus has claimed more than 277,000 lives and the number of coronavirus cases has surpassed four million, according to an AFP tally.
 
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.
 
Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
 
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store. SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments.
 
News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus
 

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Published 10 May 2020 at 4:35pm
Source: AFP - SBS