Brazil marked 50 million as 50 days without an official Minister of Health, as the coronavirus epidemic continues to take over the country, infecting more than 1.5 million citizens and killing at least 63,000.
The position has been temporarily filled by Army General Eduardo Pazzuello, who has no medical experience since the last Minister of Health Nelson Teich left on May 15.
Teich, who served in the office for less than a month, left President Jair Bolsonaro based on criticism that he was “too shy to reopen the economy and advocate the use of chloroquine”. Teich did not give a reason for his resignation.
Defending Teich’s predecessor, social remote measures and the use of masks, Luiz Henrique Mandetta was fired by Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro, who often challenges social withdrawal guidelines recommended by most healthcare professionals and dismisses the virus as “a little flu”, has been widely criticized for showing the seriousness of the virus unimportant.
On Friday, Bolsonaro vetoed parts of a law that required wearing public masks during an epidemic. The use of masks will no longer be mandatory in shopping malls, shops, religious temples, educational institutions, and other closed places where people gather, but individual states and municipalities can implement these measures.
Brazil has the second highest coronavirus incidence and death globally after the USA.
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