President of Brazil Fined for Violating Covid-19 Health Care

UMMATIMES - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been fined for refusing to enforce the Covid-19 health protocol during the pandemic. Bolsonaro was fined for failing to comply with health safety regulations at a public event in Maranhao state.

Maranhao state governor Flavio Dino said late Friday that health authorities would file a case against Bolsonaro's violation of the Covid-19 health protocol. At a public meeting in Maranhao, Bolsonaro had broken health protocol.

"The law applies to everyone," said Dino as quoted by Aljazirah, Sunday (23/5).

The president's office has 15 days to file an appeal, after which the amount of the fine will be set. Bolsonaro has rejected calls for a national lockdown as a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

On Friday, Bolsonaro distributed certificates of rural property in Acailandia about 500 kilometers from Sao Luis, the capital of Maranhao state. During the event, Bolsonaro did not wear a mask and criticized Dino for imposing social restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Brazil's Senate last month launched an investigation into the steps Bolsonaro and his government are taking in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is adding to the political pressure on Bolsonaro ahead of elections scheduled for next year.

On Friday, the senator leading the investigation accused Bolsonaro of never wanting to buy a Covid-19 vaccine. Bolsonaro argues that herd immunity can defeat the coronavirus.

“The president first denies the disease, calls it the flu, and then opposes social isolation and quarantine. Then he downplayed the use of masks and encouraged crowds to gather. Why is that? Due to herd immunity. This is why he never wanted a vaccine, "Senator Renan Calheiros told Reuters.

Brazil approved the SinoVac vaccines from China and AstraZeneca from the UK for emergency use in January. But the vaccine launch has been stalled due to delays and a lack of supply.

As of May 18, only one in eight Brazilian adults had received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Public health officials say they hope to receive enough vaccine material from China to produce as many as 25 million doses.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Brazil noted that more than 446 thousand people have died from the corona virus. Meanwhile, Brazil has 15.9 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Public health experts have warned that the next wave of coronavirus in Brazil is likely imminent.