COVID-19 deaths up in Brazil as citizens defy restrictions

Brasilia, April 6 (IANS) Brazil recorded 852 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 11,000 and 486 deaths in just over a month, while people in Sao Paulo took to the streets to protest social isolation measures.

According to the latest report from the Ministry of Health released on Sunday, in the past 24 hours there were 54 new deaths, representing an increase of 12.5 per cent, reports Efe news.
The increase was also seen in the number of confirmed cases that in the last day grew 8 per cent with more than 850 new infections.
The fatality rate, which was 4.2 per cent on Saturday, rose Sunday to 4.4 per cent, and according to health authorities, 81 per cent of the victims were over 60 years of age.
Sao Paulo, the most populous and industrialized state in the country, with a population of 46 million people, has the most cases in all of Brazil, with 4,620 infections and 275 deaths.
It is followed by Rio de Janeiro with 1,594 confirmed cases and 64 deaths, and Ceara (northeast) with 823 cases and 26 deaths.
Although the number of cases already exceeds 11,000 in the South American giant, the Ministry has insisted that the actual numbers may be higher since the tests to confirm the COVID-19 have only been carried out on critically ill and hospitalized patients and there were still patients with pending results.
Meanwhile in Sao Paulo, a hundred supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro defied social isolation measures to criticize the authorities for measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
Waving Brazilian flags and wearing green and yellow, the protesters demanded that Sao Paulo state governor Joao Doria lift the restrictions.
The protesters, including several senior citizens, began the demonstration on the iconic Paulista Avenue and then marched to the Legislative Assembly.
They criticized Doria’s management while waving a banner calling for his dismissal and labeling it a “shame” and a “disgrace” for Brazil.
While the governor is in favor of social isolation to stop the spread of the virus, Bolsonaro opposes the restrictions, promotes people returning to work, and has even described these restrictions in force in some of the country’s 27 states as a crime.
The president considers that the infectious disease is a “little cold” that only older people should be wary of, and for which an entire country should not stop due to social isolation measures.
His controversial position on the coronavirus fight has earned him the strong criticism of his administration, backed by only 33 per cent of Brazilians.