Health

Twitter deletes videos of Bolsonaro’s visit to Brasilia

Sao Paulo, Brazil, Mar 29 (efe-epa).- Microblogging site Twitter blocked two videos posted on Brazil’s far-right president’s official profile showing his visit to several parts of Brasilia on Sunday in violation of health recommendations to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

“This Tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules,” says a message where the tweets in question were.

In the two deleted videos, 65-year-old Jair Bolsonaro defended the end of the confinement measures in effect in many of the country’s states and the use of chloroquine to treat the disease, even though its effectiveness has still not been fully proven.

In a statement sent to local media, Twitter said it had recently included among its criteria for excluding tweets, content that contradicted public health information from official sources and could put people at greater risk of transmitting COVID-19.

The first of the deleted videos was shot in Taguatinga, one of the satellite cities of the Brazilian capital, and in which Bolsonaro was seen talking to a street vendor.

“What I have been hearing from people is that they want to work. What I have said from the beginning is that ‘we are going to be careful, the over-65s stay at home’,” the Brazilian leader said.

He said chloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria and other diseases, was working “everywhere” against the new virus.

On Sunday, the government of the northeastern state of Bahia reported the death due to coronavirus of a 74-year-old man who had been given that drug.

In the second deleted video, Bolsonaro appears in a butcher’s shop in Sobradinho, also located in the metropolitan region of Brasilia, to say that unemployment has terrified people.

Still to be removed by Twitter is Bolsonaro’s visit to Ceilandia, where he approaches a shop’s entrance and exchanges words with a woman amid a group of curious passersby trying to record the exchange on their mobile phones.

Also available on the microblogging site is the press conference held by Bolsonaro at the end of his tour through Brasilia.

Bolsonaro’s visit, which was not put on his official agenda, comes a day after his health minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, stressed on the need to stay at home, even for young people, and to avoid crowds in order to contain the pandemic.

A few days earliers, Bolsonaro issued a decree that allowed lottery houses and religious temples to continue operating although a court later struck down that order. However, on Sunday, the president announced that he will appeal the ruling in higher courts.

The Brazilian leader said that while no one was denying the coronavirus crisis, the country was also facing a problem of unemployment.

He added that he could not sit on the wall and act in politically correct manner but would have to take decisions as the nation was “sinking.

Brazil has so far recorded 136 coronavirus deaths, 22 in the last day alone, while confirmed cases increased by 9 percent in 24 hours to 4,256, the health ministry said Sunday. EFE-EPA

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