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Brazil and the COVID-19 pandemic

With the number of cases crossing 966000, Brazil is emerging as the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country is confronting a tense political climate and social unrest. Deforestation in Amazon, increasing inequality, rampant corruption, and stagnation has led to sharp societal divisions and tensions in the nation. It has experienced some of the most massive demonstrations after the restoration of democracy. This pandemic has only worsened the state of the economy and indigenous groups of Brazil. According to The Brazilian Report, the number of new businesses has declined 30 per cent, Q2 GDP will drop close to 10 per cent, and 293 indigenous people have died of COVID-19 in Brazil. In the absence of strong leadership and a stable political system, the path to restoration seems unclear, and how the country will survive the pandemic remains a big question.

 

In an online event organised by Northeastern University on the topic “COVID-19 and the new world order”, different panellists addressed this issue. According to one of the panellists, the only positive effect of the pandemic is the unification of the country against President Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsnaro’s administration attempted to hide the seriousness of the pandemic and didn’t publish a running total of COVID-19 deaths and infections until the country’s Supreme Court ordered to do so. Hence, this surge in the cases marks the inefficiency of administration. The concepts like institutionalised crime, deteriorating effects of corruption and the importance of political stability were also discussed.

 

The Brazilian President seeks to follow the same approach as Donald Trump, like the use of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to defend against the COVID-19 infection, even though several studies have doubted its efficacy and its use increases the risk of death of patients. These untested measures are only aggravating the problem and should be strictly avoided.

 

Kriti Vishwakarma