Brazil reached 10,627 victims after having recorded the highest number of deaths in 24 hours on Friday. The South American nation becomes the sixth country with the most deaths from covid-19 in the world, behind the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and France. The Ministry of Health ensures that 730 deaths have been recorded from Friday to Saturday. 234 occurred in the last three days. The deaths confirmed on Saturday are close to the number of deaths caused by dengue fever – a disease that still rages among Brazilians – in all of 2019 (782). Brazil has 155,939 people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
President Jair Bolsonaro, indifferent to the upward curve of the pandemic, spent Saturday afternoon riding a jet ski on Lake Paranoá, in Brasilia. Without a mask, he took photos with followers who gathered at the pier to greet him. In a video recorded by the crew of a boat, which was preparing a barbecue, the president again underestimated the severity of the disease. “It is a neurosis. 70% [of the population] will contract the virus, ”he said. The number of deaths from covid-19 in Brazil has doubled in the last 10 days. On April 28 Bolsonaro reacted with a “so what?” to the figures of that day, 5,107. The last Brazilian president to be photographed on a jet ski, current senator Fernando Collor, provocatively commented on a publication comparing him to Bolsonaro. “If it continues like this, it will sink.”
Bolsonaro has discarded the barbecue that he was going to organize in the Alvorada Palace with ministers and members of the Government. Throughout the week, he had informed his supporters that he would organize a party to cheer up the attorney general’s minister, Wagner Rosário, who is experiencing personal problems. Criticism of the announcement grew, and Bolsonaro told reporters ironically that he would receive up to 3,000 guests at his official residence. On Saturday morning, however, he posted on Twitter that the barbecue was false: he attacked the press and the Free Brazil Movement (MBL), which filed a lawsuit against the event.
While Bolsonaro was riding a jet ski, the far-right protesters again skipped the social isolation measures recommended by the World Health Organization and medical authorities to hold another public demonstration against confinement and in favor of reopening the economy. They protested against former Justice Minister Sergio Moro, who is now seen as an enemy by the Executive, the National Congress and the Federal Supreme Court.
Congress decreed on Friday the official three-day mourning for the victims of the covid-19 in an act carried out by the Presidents of the Senate, Davi Alcolumbre, and of the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia. “This Parliament, which represents the people and the federal balance of this nation, is not indifferent to this moment of loss, sadness and pain,” reports the statement signed by the leaders of the legislative chambers. The Federal Supreme Court also declared mourning in honor of the victims of the pandemic. “We need, more than ever, to join forces, in solidarity and fraternity, in favor of the preservation of life and health. The way out of this crisis is to be found in union, dialogue and coordinated action, ”said Judge Dias Toffoli, President of the Supreme Court.
Another institution that has disagreed with the Executive is the Prosecutor’s Office, which has requested the Ministry of Health to collect information on the bed occupancy rate and the number of lung ventilators available in private healthcare. The Office of the Prosecutor suggests that public managers’ requests for private beds be regulated and recommends that it be mandatory to record hospital admissions for suspected and confirmed coronavirus cases in all health facilities. In a statement, the Prosecutor General’s Office explains that, in a pandemic situation such as the current one, the Constitution provides that goods and services of private health can be requisitioned. “The Ministry of Health and the local Secretariats can decide when it is necessary to adopt the measure, regulating access to private property in accordance with the health priorities of each region,” notes the note.
During the week, Health Minister Nelson Teich said he was against the government using private beds. He argued that the Government should negotiate with private initiative hospitals and only if public health collapses. “We have to be efficient enough so that public health can face [the pandemic]. If it reaches the limit, we will have to sit down with private healthcare and insurers, talk and see a way in which they can be part of the solution by cooperating and not taking over hospitals, “said the minister.