Brazil surpasses 1.5 million coronavirus cases as Bolsonaro'a popularity remains intact

WION Web Team New Delhi Jul 04, 2020, 07.55 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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Bolsonaro originally dismissed the coronavirus as a "little flu" and his opposition to lockdowns and flouting of measures aimed at stifling the spread have provoked a hail of criticism from some.

Brazil recorded additional 42,223 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Friday, bringing the total tally to 1,539,081, the second-worst outbreak in the world behind the United States.

The number of coronavirus deaths rose by 1,290 to 63,174, according to the ministry.

As the number of dead from coronavirus shot up in Brazil, the popularity of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has remained unchanged, according to AFP.

For his supporters, the president has done nothing wrong despite more than 63,000 deaths and 1.5 million infections, the report added.

Also read: Brazil president says death was 'everyone's destiny' as country registers 1,349 deaths

Bolsonaro originally dismissed the coronavirus as a "little flu" and his opposition to lockdowns and flouting of measures aimed at stifling the spread have provoked a hail of criticism from some.

Local epidemiologists and the World Health Organization have expressed concern about the president's approach in a country that is second only to the United States in terms of total cases and deaths from the virus.

Yet a poll by Datafolha at the end of June found that 32 per cent of Brazilians thought Bolsonaro's government was "good or very good," a number that hasn't dropped since the start of the health crisis.

Also read: Brazil records second highest COVID-19 cases as Bolsonaro downplays it as 'little flu'

"People are suffering a lot financially, and when Bolsonaro says: 'We can't stop Brazil from working,' he's speaking to people's despair," said Vinicius Valle, a political science researcher.

He says most of the president's supporters recognize there's a health risk -- but with Brazil set for a record recession this year, many have been deeply resistant to the lockdown.