Brazil should return to post-pandemic normality “as fast as possible,” says president

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during an inauguration ceremony of the new Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello (not pictured) at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil

The Brazilian government wants lockdowns lifted so economic activity can return to normal “as quickly as possible,” President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday, following a meeting of the National Coordination Committee on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Social distancing, restrictions on mobility and other measures taken by Brazil’s state governments to curb the outbreak are harming the economy, Bolsonaro, accompanied by other officials and legislators, said at a press conference.

“We are not going to solve this problem by staying at home. This policy (social distancing) is still being adopted, but the spirit of it was to prepare intensive care beds and respirators so that people would not die due to a lack of care,” said Bolsonaro.

“No nation can sustain itself for long with that type of policy and what we really want is to return to normality as quickly as possible and seek measures to combat the pandemic, as we have done with the issue of vaccines,” Bolsonaro said.

“We are calling here for a review of this lockdown policy. That depends on the governors and mayors, because only then can we return to normality,” Bolsonaro added.

Minister of Health Marcelo Queiroga stressed the importance of vaccination.

“The broad and agile vaccination campaign is the passport to the end of the pandemic, and that is the effort we have been making,” Queiroga said.

Brazil is going through its worst COVID-19 outbreak, on Tuesday reporting a record 3,780 deaths from the virus in 24 hours, raising its pandemic death toll to 317,646.

More than 12.6 million people in Brazil have tested positive for the virus, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

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