Brazil reports first coronavirus death

Rio de Janeiro, March 17 (IANS) Brazil on Tuesday saw its first coronavirus death with a person in Sao Paulo succumbing to the disease, reports said.

The South American country, which currently has 234 confirmed cases of the virus, has not banned entry of people, like many other countries on the continent, but in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, schools and universities have been told to close and public events have been called off, the BBC reported.

President Jair Bolsonaro has, however, dismissed precautions against coronavirus as “hysteria” and “fantasy”.

So far Latin America has not reported significant clusters of the virus in the same way as parts of Asia, Europe and the US, but some countries are not taking chances.

Peru declared a national emergency, closed its borders and told everybody to self-quarantine for 14 days, while Chile said it would close its borders after cases more than doubled there to 155.



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