Demonstrator in Manaus with the banner "500,000 suffocated"
Photo: MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP
Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets on Saturday to protest against Head of State Jair Bolsonaro's corona crisis management.
The demonstrations took place in more than 20 capitals of Brazilian states, including Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Recife and São Paulo.
Just on Saturday, Brazil crossed the threshold of 500,000 corona deaths.
Only in the USA is the official number of victims even higher.
"We have more than 2,000 deaths a day," said 21-year-old student Tita Couto, explaining her participation in the demonstration in São Paulo.
"We have lost more than 500,000 people to a disease for which there is a vaccination," she added, referring to Covid-19 and the sluggish corona vaccination campaign in her home country.
"Bolsonaro, listen to the people," she called on the far-right head of state.
Many reminded of the sad number of victims of the corona pandemic in Brazil with signs reading "500,000".
Slogans such as "Get rid of Bolsonaro", "Government of hunger and unemployment" and "Vaccination now" were written on banners.
In Brazil, only 11.5 percent of the 212 million inhabitants have full vaccination against Covid-19.
"It's very frustrating," said 34-year-old protester Felipe Rocha, who is still waiting for his first injection.
Bolsonaro is accused of downplaying the pandemic to have promoted the rapid spread of the corona virus.
He had described the Covid-19 disease caused by the coronavirus as a "minor flu" and criticized measures taken by states and municipalities to contain the pandemic because of their impact on the economy.
In addition, Bolsonaro, who is aiming for re-election next year, questioned the effectiveness of the corona vaccines.
Bolsonaro's refusal to recognize the dangers posed by the coronavirus are "absurd," said 50-year-old Robert Almeida at a demonstration in Rio de Janeiro.
The head of state has "already said goodbye to reality."
A broad alliance of social organizations, trade unions, parties and politicians called for the protests.
Among them was the left-wing ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
On Saturday, Lula complained about the many corona deaths in his country on the Twitter online service.
"500,000 deaths from a vaccinated disease in a country that has been a worldwide reference for vaccinations," Lula wrote.
“It has a name: genocide.” Other politicians also confront Bolsonaro with this “genocide” accusation.
Brazil has the second highest number of corona victims worldwide, more than 17.8 million people are infected with the virus.
Around 80,000 new cases are currently being added every day.
A parliamentary committee of inquiry is now examining the head of state's crisis management in the pandemic.
The largest country in Latin America was shaken by a violent second wave of infections at the beginning of the year, and more than 4,000 deaths have been recorded every day.
In the meantime, increasing numbers of infections indicate a third wave.
oka / AFP