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World News

Brazil's Bolsonaro says rush for coronavirus vaccine not justified

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro looks on as he adjusts his protective face mask during a ceremony launching a program to expand access to credit at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, August 19, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has refused to take any coronavirus vaccine, said on Saturday that he did not think the world’s rush for a vaccine was justified because the pandemic is in his view coming to an end.

New coronavirus cases have not indicated the pandemic is ending. In recent days, several countries including Brazil have reported record numbers of daily cases.

“The pandemic is really reaching its end, the numbers have showed this, we are dealing with small rises now,” said Bolsonaro. “But the rush for the vaccine is not justified because you are playing with people’s lives.”

Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for minimizing COVID-19, calling the disease caused by the virus a “little flu” even as Brazil is one of the countries most affected.

On Saturday, Brazil registered 50,177 new cases, bringing the total to 7,213,155. Deaths rose by 706 to 186,356.

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Grant McCool

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