Brazil fires health minister amid COVID-19 row

Brazil fires health minister amid COVID-19 row
  • Clock-gray 01:17
  • calendar-gray 17 April 2020

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta after the two clashed for several weeks about the need for isolation measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

"I have just heard the news from President Jair Bolsonaro about my dismissal from the Ministry of Health. I am thankful for the opportunity I was given," Mandetta tweeted Thursday.

The move is not a surprise to Brazilians who had become used to seeing the two officials disagree about what steps the country should take.

Mandetta insisted on adopting widespread social isolation measures but Bolsonaro opposed, asserting the outbreak is being blown out of proportion and the moves are unnecessary and economically harmful. 

The decision to fire Mandetta involves enormous health and political risks as Brazil is expected to enter its peak of the pandemic within days.

As of Thursday evening, Brazil reported 30,425 coronavirus cases and 1,924 deaths, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. 

Globally, more than 2.1 million people have contracted coronavirus, known as COVID-19, with the death toll exceeding 140,000. More than 530,000 people have recovered.

 

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