Brazil’s president has refused to extend the country’s coronavirus quarantine measures because of job losses and the impact on the poor.
Speaking to Rede TV, Jair Bolsonaro hit out at self-isolation and other measures imposed by local authorities to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Mr Bolsonaro said: “You can’t impose any more quarantine than there already is.”
Meanwhile he stepped up his stand-off with state governments, branding governors in the hardest-hit regions as “job-killers” and suggesting that democracy could be at risk if the coronavirus crisis leads to social chaos.
He told reporters outside the presidential palace: “When the situation is heading toward chaos, with mass unemployment and hunger, it’s fertile ground for some to exploit, seeking a way to reach power and never leave it.”
On Sunday, Mr Bolsonaro visited a market area outside the federal capital to stress the message that lockdown measures should be relaxed.
And just hours later Facebook and Twitter removed a video of him speaking to street vendors, explaining that it violated their standards on misinformation.
The president’s announcements once again put him at odds with health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta, who has urged Brazilians to maintain maximum social distancing to ease the strain the fragile health system.
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