Is Brazil becoming the next COVID-19 hotspot?

  • The country has the second-most number of cases in the world
  • The president says it’s not necessary to practice social distancing
  • The South American nation has experienced poor testing rates

The Brazilian healthcare system is on the verge of collapse as emergency rooms, hospitals, and clinics are overwhelmed by patients showing symptoms of the coronavirus. Morgues and cemeteries are also being overwhelmed as the number of COVID-19 mortalities soars, leading to the use of mass graves. 

COVID-19 cases have already surpassed 802,000 as of June 12, the second-most of any country in the world, as President Jair Bolsonaro insisted social distancing measures were unnecessary to stop the spread of the virus. Bolsonaro advised Brazilians to live their lives normally, that only the most vulnerable in age and health should stay home. 

With poor testing rates and a lack of leadership taking the virus seriously, Brazil already is a COVID-19 hotspot. More than 40,000 people have died from coronavirus there, overtaking China in both case counts and mortalities.

Other countries that have recently turned into coronavirus hotspots include Russia, Chad, and Tajikistan. Meanwhile, New Zealand has had major success nearly wiping out the virus from its country.

Sources: New York Times, Al Jazeera, CNBC, Forbes, BBC, Johns Hopkins

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