Brasilia: Official data show that the number of new coronaviruses diagnosed in Brazil rose on Saturday, surpassing Spain and Italy, which were once epidemic centers, making Brazil the fourth largest outbreak in the world.
The Brazilian Ministry of Health has registered 14,919 newly diagnosed cases in the past 24 hours, with a total of 233,142 cases, second only to the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom. Brazil has only done a small part of the tests seen in these three countries.
Global differences may put pressure on President Jair Bolsonaro, who lost his second health minister within a month of last month because he ignored public health experts and called for widespread use of unproven Drug.
Bolsonaro strongly criticized the orders of many Brazilian governors, requiring them to conduct strict social isolation and quarantine to curb the spread of the virus, including closing schools, shops and restaurants.
Bolsonaro argued that the financial burden is no longer affordable and companies must be allowed to reopen as soon as possible. The government now expects Brazil to set the biggest annual economic contraction this year since the record a century ago.
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao accepted the COVID-19 test and was quarantined in his official residence last Saturday after a civil servant close to him tested positive last week.
Mourao, 66, will not fulfill official duties on Monday, when the results are expected. Bolsonaro has undergone several coronavirus tests after ministers and other close aides tested positive.
The nationwide testing conducted in Brazil is still far behind European countries. According to the Ministry of Health, by the beginning of this week, Brazil had processed nearly 338,000 new coronavirus tests in official laboratories. Another 145,000 tests are being analyzed or queued.
In contrast, Italy and Spain conducted 1.9 million official diagnostic tests on the virus.
The Brazilian Ministry of Health also reported 816 new deaths related to the virus on Saturday, bringing the total to 15,633.