The health ministry have confirmed an extra 54,000 cases. At the time of writing, Brazil is at 49,090 deaths. In March, President Jair Bolsonaro claimed: “The virus has arrived and we are fighting it and soon it will pass.”
He has described coronavirus as a “fantasy” or “trick” from the media, according to the Guardian.
In one five minute address, he even said: “Our lives have to go on. Jobs must be kept … we must, yes, get back to normal.
“A small number of state and municipal authorities must abandon their scorched-earth ideas: the banning of public transport, the closing of commerce and mass confinement.
“What is happening around the world has shown that the at-risk group are those over 60 years old. So why close schools? Ninety per cent of us will show no sign [of infection] if we are infected.”
Mr Bolsonaro has been criticised by Brazilian State Governors for these comments.
Luiz Henrique Mandetta, health minister, was sacked from the Cabinet on April 16.
Mr Mandetta, a former military medic, defended lockdown and social distancing measures, in contradiction to the President.
A Datafollha poll found he had a 76 percent approval rating from Brazilians for his handling of the crisis and 82 percent from Mr Bolsonaro’s supporters.
READ MORE: Brazil records more devastating deaths as cases approach one million
Latin America in particular has seen a spike in infections.
Mexico became only the seventh country to surpass 20,000 deaths.
This week, Peru overtook Italy’s number of infections.
Last week also the resignation of Chilean Health Minister Jaime Mañalich.
Chile cases per capita is relatively high and new minister Dr Enrique Paris said: “I want to call for dialogue and cooperation between research centres, the medical union and scientific community.
“Here begins a new era in which we must hear contrasting opinions.”
Dr Paris is the former head of the medical union in Chile.
Only the United States has had more infections than Brazil.
There was no nationwide lockdown in Brazil, with decisions having to be made on a local level.