Tens of thousands took to the streets across Brazil, protesting the rule of their President Jair Bolsonaro as the country hit the half-a-million Covid-19 deaths mark, blamed on the sloppy government handling of the coronavirus crisis.
- The protests happened across most of the major Brazilian cities, including the country’s capital, Brasilia, on Saturday. The largest rally occurred in Sao Paulo, home to over 12.3 million people and the most populous city in the country.
- The activists hit the city’s downtown, condemning Bolsonaro personally, blaming them for the ballooning coronavirus toll. From previous, the president is a well-known corona-skeptic, who has repeatedly violated standing mask-wearing and social-distancing rules.
- Protesters carried various banners, criticizing the Covid-19 response, and addressing other social and economic issues blamed on the right-wing government. The activists unfurled a massive block-sized banner reading “Life, Bread, Vaccines, and Education.”
- In absolute figures, the country remains among the worst-hit nations in the world with the coronavirus tally of nearly 18 million, dwarfed only by the US and India. In terms of its death toll, the country now holds a solid second place.
- Many protesters demanded that the government step down, insisting Bolsonaro and other top officials must be held in charge of the Covid-19 crisis.
- The deadly virus continues to spread steadily in Brazil, with some 100,000 new cases and around 2,000 deaths reported on a daily basis lately. The rather modest testing figures also suggest the situation on the ground might be even worse with many new cases left undetected.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, China announced it had administered its one-billionth shot in the world’s biggest coronavirus inoculation drive as Brazil’s death toll from the pandemic passed 500,000.