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Brazil's Capital Rio de Janeiro Returns to Covid-19 Lockdown

File photo (Reuters)

File photo (Reuters)

Thursday was Brazil's deadliest day since the beginning of the pandemic, with 1,541 deaths confirmed from the virus. So far 254,000 people have died overall.

Brazil's capital has entered a two-week lockdown, joining several states in adopting measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as intensive care beds begin to fill in some important cities. At least eight Brazilian states adopted curfews over the past week due to the rise in cases and deaths from COVID-19. Thursday was Brazil's deadliest day since the beginning of the pandemic, with 1,541 deaths confirmed from the virus. So far 254,000 people have died overall.

Brasilia Governor Ibaneis Rocha decreed the total closure of bars, restaurants, shopping malls and schools until March 15 and prohibited gatherings of people. Sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited after 8 p.m. In the federal district, 85 per cent of hospital beds were occupied on Sunday, according to the local health ministry.

President Jair Bolsonaro again criticised such measures, saying on his Twitter account: "The people want to work."

He threatened on Friday to cut off federal emergency pandemic assistance to states resorting to lockdowns, saying, "Governors who close down their states will have to provide for their own emergency aid."

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