Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro ordered to wear a mask in public


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The media legendThe BBC South America correspondent Katy Watson looks at how Bolsonaro replied the virus in Brazil

A judge in Brazil has ordered the President Jair Bolsonaro to wear a protective mask when he is in public spaces in the capital, Brasilia, and in the vicinity of the federal district.

The extreme-right president has been criticized for belittling the risk posed by the coronavirus.

He dismissed as “a little cold” at the beginning of the pandemic.

Brazil is the second largest number of cases of coronavirus and Covid-related deaths in the world after the united states.

There are more than 1.1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in Brazil and more than 51 000 coronavirus-related deaths were recorded, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University.

Despite these high figures, President Bolsonaro has on several occasions appeared in public without a mask while greeting his supporters.

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Last week, Jair Bolsonaro was seen leaving the presidential palace without a mask

During a rally, it was filmed coughing without covering the mouth and on another occasion, he was seen sneezing into his hand and shaking the hand of an elderly woman immediately after.

The obligation to wear masks in the federal district, entered into force on 30 April.

The rule has been made by the governor of the federal district, Ibaneis Rocha, and requires people to cover the nose and mouth in all public spaces, including public transport, shops and commercial and industrial premises.

On May 11, the rule was further strengthened with those that face fines of up to 2 000 reais ($387; £310) per day.

Federal judge Renato Borelli’s decision means Mr. Bolsonaro is not exempt and that the president and all other public officials who do not comply with the requirement to undergo the 2,000 reais fine.

The president Bolsonaro has supported since the beginning of the pandemic, measures taken to curb the spread of the virus could be more harmful, than the pandemic itself.

On Monday, he renewed his call for the easing of lock-in measures and the reopening of shops and businesses.

He said that the way in which the pandemic was handled had ” perhaps been a little over the top.”

The president insists that the economy should be a priority has been very confrontational and it came into conflict with the governor of the state who have introduced movement restrictions and the need to wear masks in public.


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