Brazil has suffered the worst coronavirus death toll and number of new infections since the pandemic started, with a record 1,179 deaths registered yesterday (Tuesday) alone.
THE death toll has surpassed 18,000 and the country has diagnosed 275,382 positive coronavirus cases to date. Brazil is now the fourth country in the world with the most Covid-19 cases, after the US, Russia and Spain, making its neighbouring countries nervous.
Colombia has already extended its international travel ban until potentially the end of August to protect its country, with Argentina and others considering following suit. The US is also considering putting a travel ban on all travel from Brazil, as well as other Latin American countries.
Despite the rising numbers, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is still not taking the threat of the pandemic seriously, and pointing out that “lockdowns and quarantines will have a far worse impact” on its economy, having described the pandemic as “little more than a flu,” on several occasions.
To combat the disease, however, Bolsanaro has given hospitals permission to use the antimalarial drug chloroquine to treat patients with both mild and severe cases of Covid-19, despite a lack of conclusive evidence of its effectiveness to treat the disease.
In a Twitter post today, Bolsonaro stated: “Today we will have a new protocol on chloroquine,” describing it as a “a hope, according to the many who have used it.” However, according to reports, patients will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging that they are aware of potential side effects, which includes death.