Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro seems to be following the footsteps of U.S. President Donald Trump. Bolsonaro announced his approval for anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 despite the lack of proof of its effectivity. Ministry of Health would soon release fresh guidelines to bolster its extensive use in the battle against the novel coronavirus.

The reveal took scores of health professionals by shock, as the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine is yet to be scientifically established. Bolsonaro also revealed that he often keeps an emergency kit of hydroxychloroquine by his aging mother’s bedside.

Incidentally, Bolsonaro’s views on the drugs surfaced on the same day that saw Brazil hit a new record as the death toll touched the 1,179 mark. The rising numbers have pushed Brazil into the third spot among countries that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. Like Trump, Bolsonaro seemed to have placed unwavering faith in the miraculous benefits of Hydroxychloroquine -- much to the annoyance and dismay of his own health ministry.

While both of his former health ministers refused to vouch for the same and resisted its expansion, the strong stance eventually led to their exit. Despite not being given a green-light by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the drug has been permitted for Emergency Use Authorization and clinical trials underway.

As of now, interim Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello is likely to sign the new hydroxychloroquine guidelines on Wednesday.

The spike in the numbers has pushed several countries to be vigilant about letting Brazilians into their country. President Donald Trump made his thoughts about enacting a travel ban on Brazil known. “I don't want people coming over here and infecting our people. I don't want people over there sick either. We're helping Brazil with ventilators,” the president said, to a volley of reporters at a press briefing on Tuesday. “Brazil is having some trouble, no question about it,” he added.

Having logged in 271,628 cases and 17,791 deaths, Brazil stands in the middle of one of its biggest crises in decades. Aside from catastrophic consequences on the economy, murky political upheaval is another challenge that the Bolsonaro government faces.  

Jair Bolsonaro Jair Bolsonaro, presidential candidate for the Social Liberal Party, attends an interview for Correio Brazilianse newspaper in Brasilia, June 6, 2018. Getty Images/ EVARISTO SA