The number of deaths due to Covid-19 in Brazil suddenly surpassed China

A new cemetery is being filled in Brazil by victims of Covid-19. Photo: Reuters.
A new cemetery is being filled in Brazil by victims of Covid-19. Photo: Reuters.

The South American nation hardest hit by the pandemic recorded more than 5,000 deaths on April 28, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.

According to AFP, 474 deaths have been recorded in the past 24 hours, a record since the outbreak of the disease in the country. While the number of Covid-19 infections has increased to 71,886 cases.

Thus, with 5,017 deaths from the pandemic, Brazil had more deaths than China (4,643), where the virus first broke out.

Brazil’s far right president, Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the blockade orders of the governors of the states, and is eager to reopen the economy. Mr. Bolsonaro himself also participated in a rally calling for an end to the blockade orders.

Brazil’s health minister, Nelson Teich, said the spike in deaths could be explained by the country’s improved testing capacity. Teich took office after his predecessor Luiz Henrique Mandetta was fired by Bolsonaro for a conflict in his attitude to dealing with the virus.

The state of Sao Paulo is the most affected in Brazil, accounting for one-third of all cases across the country, but has been planning to reopen partially since May 11.

The two states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais have prepared similar plans to open the economy, while the capital of Brasilia and the state of Santa Catarina have re-operated in some areas.

Bolsonaro himself is also in political trouble after the Brazilian Supreme Court ordered an investigation into allegations that the president had sought to “intervene” in police investigations for political gain.

One man who was once thought to be Bolsonaro’s close ally in the government is Justice Minister Sérgio Moro resigned last week to protest the president’s replacement as federal police chief.

In his announcement of his resignation, Mr Moro said the president had repeatedly told him about wanting to replace the head of the police force with someone else, one who would give him access to the documents. The investigation the police are carrying out is aimed at Mr. Bolsonaro’s sons.