President Jair Bolsonaro

Brazil has recorded more than 4,000 Covid-related deaths in 24 hours for the first time, as a more contagious variant fuels a surge in cases.

Hospitals are overcrowded, with people dying as they wait for treatment in some cities, and the health system is on the brink of collapse in many areas. 

The country’s total death toll is now almost 337,000, second only to the US.

But President Jair Bolsonaro continues to oppose any lockdown measures to curb the outbreak.

He argues that the damage to the economy would be worse than the effects of the virus itself, and has tried to reverse some of the restrictions imposed by local authorities in the courts.

Speaking to supporters outside the presidential residence, Jair Bolsonaro criticised quarantine measures and suggested without evidence that they were linked to obesity and depression. He did not comment on the 4,195 deaths recorded in the previous 24 hours.

BBC