Brazilian Bolsonaro says coronavirus ban kills economy

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is seen at the Alvarada Palace on July 18, 2020 in Brasilia, Brazil amidst an outbreak of coronovirus disease (COVID-19).

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday that the lockdown measures used to stop the spread of the coronovirus novel “Kill” have “suffocated” the country’s economy.

“Without pay and jobs, people die,” he said, referring to restrictions imposed by some states and municipalities. “Lockdown kills,” he said, with some politicians suffocating the economy with forced curfews.

The President’s statement comes that Brazil’s economy is expected to contract 6.4% this year, which will be affected by the epidemic.

Bolsonaro, who announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 on July 7, met his supporters at the grounds of his official residence, Alvarada Palace, Brasilia.

The President was wearing a mask and kept a few meters (yards) from his supporters.

Bolsonaro said he felt well, despite the virus, and again credited his health to the use of hydroxychloroquine to fight COVID-19, despite no scientific evidence. “I’m a living proof (that the drug works),” he told supporters.

In addition to hydroxychloroquine, the far right president said he is also taking an anti-parasitic drug to fight coronaviruses.

The Ministry of Health said that Brazil confirmed 28,532 new and 921 new death cases of the novel coronovirus on Saturday. The total number of cases in Brazil, the world’s second most affected country after the United States, has now risen to 2,074,860, with a total of 78,772 deaths.

Reporting in São Paulo, Brasilia and Leonardo Benasatto in Brasilia; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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