More than 5,000 people in Brazil have lost their lives to the coronavirus – even more people than in China, if its official statistics are to be believed.
But, writes Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro, on Tuesday night Brazil’s president shrugged off the news. “So what?” Jair Bolsonaro told reporters when asked about the record 474 deaths that day. “I’m sorry. What do you want me to do?”
Bolsonaro’s 11-word response – the latest in a series of remarks belittling the pandemic – sparked immediate fury. One newspaper, the Estado de Minas, stamped the president’s words on to a black front page beside Brazil’s death toll: 5,017.
“Bolsonaro isn’t just an awful politician and a bad president, he’s a despicable human being,” tweeted Marcelo Freixo, a leftwing opponent.
“It’s a mockery. An insult. It is intolerable,” tweeted Mariliz Pereira Jorge, a scriptwriter and commentator.
Swiss government extends ban on large public events
The Swiss government has extended its ban on public events exceeding 1000 people until the end of August, even as it announced the easing of some other restrictions on sporting events, shops, restaurants and museums.
Some border restrictions will also begin being eased from May 11, it said. Moreover, professional sports teams can resume play on June 8, the government added, though without spectators.
It will decide on events of less than 1,000 people on May 27. At this stage, gatherings are limited to five people.
This is Gregory Robinson, taking over the live blog for the next hour. If you want to follow me or contact me on Twitter to share insight or to send tips, I’m on @Gregoryjourno or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sweden passes 20,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus