Covid-19: Brazil's health minister resigns after just weeks on the job
Brazil's health minister Nelson Teich handed in his resignation on Friday after less than a month on the job, adding to turmoil in the government's handling of the novel coronavirus as the country becomes a global hotspot for the pandemic.
Teich, who disagreed with right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, has submitted his resignation and will hold a press conference later Friday, his office said. Bolsonaro has been pushing in recent days for wider use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus, which Teich resisted.
They have also disagreed on the pace of reopening the economy. Last week, the minister said he was not consulted before Bolsonaro issued a decree allowing gyms, beauty parlors and hairdressers to open for business.
Teich is the second health minister to resign amid the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil. He replaced Nelson Mandetta, who also resisted broader use of hydroxychloroquine and disagreed with Bolsonaro's argument to do away with quarantines and other coronavirus restrictions.
Bolsonaro's handling of the coronavirus has been widely criticized globally as he has minimized the severity of the disease and told Brazilians to ignore quarantine restrictions.
Brazil has now surpassed Germany and France in the number of coronavirus cases, with more than 200,000 people infected with the virus as of Thursday, when the health ministry reported 844 new deaths bringing the death toll to 13,933.