President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia, Brazil, on May 13, 2020.

REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Brazil is reopening despite recording its highest coronavirus daily death tolls in two consecutive days this week.

The country recorded 1,262 deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday and 1,349 on Wednesday. More than 32,000 people have died and 530,000 have been infected by COVID-19 so far.

But on Tuesday, stores, beaches, and other venues in major cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo were allowed to resume business.

President Jair Bolsonaro has refused to take the virus seriously, saying on Tuesday he was “sorry for all the dead, but that’s everyone’s destiny.”

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Brazil is easing restrictions despite logging record numbers of daily coronavirus fatalities, with President Jair Bolsonaro saying death is “everyone’s destiny.”

On Wednesday, Brazil recorded the highest number of deaths from the coronavirus in a single day. The 1,349 new fatalities beat the previous record of 1,262 deaths, which was set the day before, according to data from the country’s health ministry.

The country’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases also surpassed 500,000 this week. Only the US has more.

Striking images published late last month showed row upon row of mass graves, laying bare the state of the country’s crisis. 

Gravediggers bury the coffin of a person who died from COVID-19 in São Paulo, Brazil, on May 22, 2020.

REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

Yet on Tuesday, a number of non-essential businesses and venues in the major cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro opened their doors for the first time in months.

They include beaches, churches, car showrooms, and furniture stores, according to CNN. 

On Monday, Marcelo Crivella, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, said that “if all parameters are followed — wearing masks and avoiding crowds — we will return to normal life, to the new normal, in August.”

Paulo Lotufo, an epidemiologist at the University of São Paulo, told The Guardian: “What is happening is an absurdity. The outlook is awful.”

Regardless Bolsonaro, who in March called the virus a “little flu,” said on Tuesday: “We are sorry for all the dead, but that’s everyone’s destiny.”

Story continues

A health worker shows a COVID-19 test at the Roli Madeira riverside community on Marajo Island, in Brazil’s Para state, on June 1, 2020.

TARSO SARRAF/AFP via Getty Images

In May, two health ministers left their posts in the space of a month after clashing with Bolsonaro over the use of the hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.

Whether the malaria drug helps combat COVID-19 remains unknown.

The ministers’ old jobs remain unfilled.

A couple at the newly reopened Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, on June 2, 2020.


The governor of northeastern Maranhão​ state, Flávio Dino, blamed the country’s high death toll on the president.

“I have no doubt that Bolsonaro is in great measure responsible for this terrible rate that is going to continue growing for several months,” he said, according to The Guardian.

Latin America is currently the world’s latest hotspot for the virus. 

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