Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has described as “tyrants” state governors and mayors who have imposed lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Addressing supporters at his birthday celebrations in Brasilia, he said his government had done all it could and it was now time to reopen the economy.
Last week, the country’s leading health institute Fiocruz warned of a historic collapse of Brazil’s health service and that intensive care units in hospitals were running out of capacity.
Mr Bolsonaro, who was 66 on Sunday, has consistently opposed quarantine measures, arguing that the collateral damage to the economy would be worse than the effects of the virus itself.
Brazil has been struggling with the rollout of its vaccination programme across the vast country.
More than 2,200 people on average are dying of Covidin brazil daily.
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