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Jair Bolsonaro wants Brazilians to return to work amid lockdown

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Brasilia, May 2, 2020-

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said that he would like all the citizens to return to work amid an ongoing lockdown imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would like everyone to return to work, but it is not me who decides this. It is the governors and mayors,” Bolsonaro said in a live video on Friday.

The right-wing leader said he was sure that Brazil would “return to normalcy” soon, even though the pandemic has aggravated in the country and according to estimates by the health ministry, would peak after a few weeks.

The President has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness and has been in favour of ending lockdown measures, going as far as calling them “criminal”.

He has kept up the pressure on the governors and mayors of the country, who have the authority to enforce lockdowns in their jurisdictions according to the constitution.

Bolsonaro has also targeted the World Health Organization, alleging that its Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus “is not a doctor”.

The President has demanded the opening of businesses, arguing that unemployment could also lead to deaths and the economy “cannot be stopped”.

Brazil has so far reported 6,329 coronavirus deaths and 91,589 cases.

According to estimates by authorities in the worst affected state of Sao Paulo, which has had 2,511 deaths and 30,374 cases so far, the death toll could be 10 times higher in the region without the isolation measures.

As the crisis deepens, some cities in the state of Maranhao are set to be the first to adopt a complete lockdown from May 5.  (Agency)


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