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As anti-government protesters rally, Brazil has over 500,000 COVID deaths | Coronavirus pandemic news

Thousands of people protested against President Jair Bolsonaro’s pandemic response because Brazil has the second highest number of COVID deaths in the world, with more than 500,000.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Brazil to protest against President Bolsonaro’s pandemic response, criticize the leader for not getting the vaccine fast enough, and question the need to wear masks.

At the time of the protests, the Brazilian Minister of Health announced that the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the country has exceeded 500,000, which is the highest number of deaths in the world after the United States.

Marcelo Queiroga said on Twitter: “I am working tirelessly to vaccinate all Brazilians in the shortest possible time and to change the situation that has plagued us for more than a year. Happening.”

Brazil registers more than 70,000 confirmed coronavirus infections every day. According to Ministry of Health data, approximately 11% of Brazilians have been fully vaccinated and 29% have received the first dose.

A woman wearing a protective mask is holding a sign that says Portuguese; in protest against Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic during the “500,000, dead government” [Bruna Prado/AP Photo]

The government has faced fierce criticism for giving up the opportunity to buy vaccines early. Pharmaceutical maker Pfizer said it did not respond to early proposals to sell vaccines to the government between August and November last year.

Aline Rabelo, 36, said in a protest at the National Mall in Brasilia: “We are protesting against the genocidal Bolsonaro government, which did not purchase vaccines and did not take any measures to take care of the people last year.”

Bolsonaro’s press office did not immediately comment.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attends the graduation ceremony of Rio de Janeiro Naval Academy [Silvia Izquierdo/AP Photo]

Globo, Brazil’s largest broadcaster, reported that by early afternoon, protests had been held in at least 44 cities in 20 states. The demonstrators chanted and beat the drums while holding signs calling for Bolsonaro to be removed.

Although the organizers promised to hold the largest demonstrations to date in more than 300 cities, the rallies in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia on Saturday morning did not seem to be larger than the last major protest on May 29.

The protests in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, were originally scheduled to begin in the afternoon.

A special Senate committee is investigating the Bolsonaro government’s pandemic response, stressing that the government has delayed efforts to obtain a vaccine while prioritizing unproven treatments for COVID-19.

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