International edition
May 11, 2021

He included them among the 'essential activities' allowed in quarantine

President Bolsonaro orders lotteries in Brazil be reopened amid COVID-19 pandemic

President Bolsonaro orders lotteries in Brazil be reopened amid COVID-19 pandemic
According to Bolsonaro, playing the lottery is one of the essential services the population should be authorized to have access to. He also dismissed COVID-19 as 'a little flu'.
Brazil | 03/26/2020

Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, issued an executive order setting out the different activities that are to be considered “essential during confinement times”, which include, among others, religious services and the lottery.

T

he measures implemented by Bolsonaro are not in line with the decisions that have been made by other political leaders worldwide to navigate through the coronavirus outbreak.

The Brazilian head of state questioned some of the confinement measures that many states in his country have been adopting, asking governors to “get back to normal” as soon as possible and to limit restrictions to at-risk patients.

During a speech Tuesday, Bolsonaro urged citizens to "control panic and hysteria" over an illness he described as "a little flu".

"There are 12,956 lottery agencies in Brazil, and 2,463 of them have been shut down pursuant to municipal or local executive orders,", the president tweeted. He added that, for lottery agencies to be able to “operate at their full,” he ordered all federal lotteries to be reopened as of Thursday.

In an interview with a local TV show broadcast Sunday, Bolsonaro attacked the governors of key states including Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo who have ordered residents to stay at home and are imposing quarantines.

Brazilian authorities have reported over 2,900 confirmed coronavirus cases and a death toll of 77 (Data correct on Friday).

"We can bring the economy back to life, but what we cannot bring back is the life of those who are already dead," said Rio’s state governor, Wilson Witzel, urging citizens to "stay home."

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