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Bolsonaro urges calm, says country will defeat coronavirus

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stated that the new coronavirus is being tackled and urged people to remain calm. “Without panic or hysteria, as I have stressed since the beginning, we’ll defeat the virus and be proud,” the president said in a radio and TV pronouncement on Tuesday evening (Mar. 24).

Bolsonaro said that the authorities must avoid measures like a ban on transports, shutting down businesses and mass confinement. “Our lives must go on. Jobs must be maintained. The livelihood of families must be preserved. We do have to go back to normal,” he argued.

The president once again said the group risk for the disease is people above 60 years old, and that schools do not have to shut down, as fatal cases are rare among people younger than 40. In his view, 90 percent of the population would not show any signs of the disease in case they are contaminated, and a bigger concern should be not transmitting the virus, “especially to our dear parents and grandparents.”

Jair Bolsonaro also said he believes in scientists’ and researchers’ capacity to find a cure for the COVID-19 and said the government heard good news about the use of chloroquine in the treatment against the illness.

He seized the opportunity to express gratitude towards those working on the front line in the combat of the new coronavirus. “I commend all health agents: doctors, nurses, technicians, collaborators, those on the front line, who welcome us at hospitals, treat us, and comfort us.”

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