Aggressive efforts to reopen the economy in Brazil might have seemed to backfire, as the country logged in a record number of daily deaths for a second consecutive day, this week. Brazil currently stands at 32,548 deaths and 584,016 total confirmed cases.

Brazilians were consumed by fury as soon as their right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro termed the large-scale fatalities in the country as to “everyone’s destiny.”  

“First, we have to think of health before everything,” said Renato Maya, a resident of Niteroi, to a media outlet, after undergoing a coronavirus test on Wednesday. “Without doubt, we have to think about the economy with hunger and all those things, but COVID-19 is a disease that kills,” he added.

Bolsonaro has a history of downplaying the severity of the virus, followed by passing inflammatory comments regarding his stance about the global crisis. Bolsonaro amassed severe backlash from health experts for his muddle approach when it came to advising his people to wear masks and practice social distancing during the initial stages of the outbreak.

While dealing with the pandemic is one challenge, coming to terms with its consequences is another. Hunger, poverty, and joblessness continue to plague Brazil. So much so, a lot of state governors who initially pushed for a total lockdown are now loosening restrictions.

Tuesday marked the reopening of many small businesses in Rio de Janeiro. Latin America is also plunged in turmoil and is fast emerging as an epicenter for the pandemic. A Reuters report maintained that nations like Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Panama also fall under a high-danger zone.

With people losing faith in their government’s ability to manage the viral outbreak, 100 graves were dug on Copacabana beach before dawn on Thursday. The act was marked as a sign of protests by non-governmental organization Rio de Paz.

The rising coronavirus cases in Brazil put the country in the second spot in the list of countries to have been worse-hit by the pandemic. The United States of America continues to be on the top spot, having crossed over a million cases. President Donald Trump, who advocated hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, as the potential cure, appears to be oddly positive about things getting better irrespective of the country’s grim reality.

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