New Delhi: Even as coronavirus crisis spirals out of control in Brazil, the country’s Health Minister stepped down on Friday after disagreement with President Jair Bolsonaro over his government’s handling of the situation. Also Read - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Continues to Downplay COVID-19 Situation, Rides Jet Ski
Notably, Nelson Teich is the second Health Minister to have resigned in a span of a month. He took up the office on April 17 after Luiz Henrique Mandetta was sacked by Bolsonaro; the Brazilian President had publicly criticised Mandetta for urging people to observe social distancing and stay indoors. Also Read - After Trump, Brazilian President Bolsonaro Thanks PM Modi For 'Timely Help' With Hydroxychroloquine to Treat Covid-19
Disagreeing with these measures, Bolsonaro had also labelled coronavirus as ‘a little flu.’ Also Read - Parts of Delhi, UP Sealed Amid Cases Rising; Trump, Bolsonaro Praise Modi | Today's Top Developments
Nelson Teich, an oncologist and health care consultant, too, had disagreed with Bolsonaro’s decision to allow gyms and beauty parlours to reopen.
Announcing his resignation at a press conference, he, however, did not reveal why he was stepping down. Praising health care workers, he also thanked Bolsonaro to give him the chance to serve as a minister.
Among the measures announced by Bolsonaro to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, Teich, just like his predecessor, had disagreed with the Brazilian President’s over how to use anti-malarial drug chloroquine.
The far-right politician, notably, has come under severe criticism for downplaying the severity of the virus.
With nearly 2.2 lakh positive cases of coronavirus, Brazil recently went past Germany and France to become one of the world’s COVID-19 hotspots. Of these, over 15,000 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours.
The country’s overall COVID-19 count also includes nearly 15,000 deaths, including more than 800 in the last 24 hours.