KEY POINTS

  • Brazil registers its highest coronavirus daily mortality rate
  • The country reported 751 deaths Friday (May 8)
  •  President Jair Bolsonaro stated that the lockdowns and quarantines would lead to an economic collapse

The coronavirus death toll in Brazil hits a new record Friday (May 8), as the country registered 751 deaths and 10,222 new COVID-19 cases, according to Reuters.

Brazil is at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in Latin America. The country reported its highest coronavirus death count (751) in one day, Brazil’s health ministry said. The total death count of Brazil has crossed the 10,000-mark Saturday.

Brazil’s doctors want the authorities to implement stricter measures to contain rising coronavirus cases and deaths.

Amanda Ferreira Santa Barbara, a doctor at Unifesp training hospital in Sao Paulo, spoke with NBC News and stated that COVID-19 cases skyrocketed after “they reached the lowest peak of quarantine compliance.”

There is limited hospital capacity in several cities of the country. Adele Benzaken, a public health expert from Manaus, said that in the Amazon, they don’t have enough health care workers to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Paulo Eugênio Tavares, a health care professional from Manaus, said that they are treating only the severe COVID-19 cases, and the mortality rate remains on the higher side.

Brazil is on its way to become the new global hotspot for this pandemic and is only behind the U.S. in daily coronavirus deaths. Sao Paulo, which is considered the financial center of the country, is at the epicenter of the pandemic in Latin America.

The governor of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, who is at loggerheads with President Jair Bolsonaro, said that he is extending the stay-at-home orders until May 31.

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro continues to disregard the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. He argues that the effects of lockdowns and quarantines would lead to an economic meltdown.

“The issue of unemployment, the issue of the economy no longer working. We can't let the side-effect of the fight against the virus be more harmful than the disease itself,” Bolsonaro said, according to CNN.

During a Facebook live stream on April 30, Bolsonaro called social distancing and quarantine measures to flatten the curve of the coronavirus spread – “practically useless.”

The president also took part in two anti-lockdown protests organized outside Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, where protesters gathered, and social distancing norms were violated.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, the global death toll due to coronavirus stands at 274,917, and the total confirmed cases near four million.

In the U.S., more than 77,000 people died because of COVID-19 at 1 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday. More than 1.2 million people are tested positive for COVID-19.