Brazil Coronavirus Our Biggest Problem Is Fake News

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Brazil Coronavirus Our Biggest Problem Is Fake News

On Nurses Day last week, Elaine Oliveira posted a picture of herself in full protective gear on Instagram and begged people to stay home.

The 33 year old was too exhausted to get out of bed after working through the night at a hospital in Fortaleza, in north-eastern Ceará state.

She had not seen her parents in two months. “I miss them deeply and it hurts,” Ms Oliveira wrote.

“As I write this, my fellow colleagues are working hard at someone’s bedside, trying to save their lives or give them some dignity.

“I don’t want applause or congratulations, I want you to stay home to protect you, me and your family.”

Flouting lockdown

Ms Oliveira had wanted to get those words off her chest for some time, she told the BBC.

She had been watching while so many fellow Brazilians ignored or pointedly flouted measures intended to protect the population from Covid-19.

Supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro, in particular, have tried to play down the seriousness of the disease.

 

They have organised protests against, and in defiance of, social distancing rules.

“Today is Nurses Day and the president of my country rides a jet ski and says, ‘So what?’” Ms Oliveira wrote on Instagram.

“These are not just numbers, they are people who have children, parents, partners. They’re loved and they want to live.”

‘Very deflated’

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Brazil now has the third highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world – around a quarter of a million, ,according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

“I can categorically say that Brazil has become the most important epicentre for the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the world,” Domingos Alves, a professor at the Ribeirao Preto Medical School told BBC News Brasil.

Almost 18,000 people have died according to official figures, but Prof Alves warns that the death toll has been massively underreported.

Brazil Coronavirus Our Biggest Problem Is Fake News

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