11.48am EDT 11:48 Brazil’s health minister has resigned less than a month after being appointed and the morning after the country announced it had passed 200,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and recorded nearly 14,000 deaths. The sudden resignation of Nelson Teich, an oncologist and partner in a medical service consulting outfit, was announced in a curt
Brazil’s health minister has resigned less than a month after being appointed and the morning after the country announced it had passed 200,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and recorded nearly 14,000 deaths. The sudden resignation of Nelson Teich, an oncologist and partner in a medical service consulting outfit, was announced in a curt WhatsApp message from the Health Ministry on Friday morning.
Teich took over after Bolsonaro sacked his popular predecessor, Luiz Mandetta, on April 16 following disagreements over social isolation measures, which Mandetta supported and Bolsonaro opposes. Initially he appeared to follow Bolsonaro’s line, arguing that Brazil’s economy was as important as the lives the pandemic is increasingly claiming here.
But in recent weeks Teich had increasingly disagreed with Bolsonaro on social isolation and the use of chloroquine, which he had described as an “uncertainty”. Bolsonaro said on Thursday he wanted to change protocol regulating its use that Mandetta had introduced.
Teich was publicly embarrassed on Monday when he discovered during a press conference that the president had issued a decree that classified gyms, beauty salons and barbers as essential services. “This was not our attribution, it was the president’s decision,” he said, looking flummoxed.
Brazil reported 844 new deaths in 24 hours on Thursday night, taking the total to 13,993 and it now has 202,918 cases, making it the world’s sixth most impacted country, according to John Hopkins University figures.
Almost half the current Covid-19 hotspots in the US are linked to meat processing plants where poultry, pigs and cattle are slaughtered and packaged, which has led to the virus spiking in many small towns and prompted calls for urgent reforms to an industry beset by health and safety problems.
At least 12 of the 25 hotspots in the US – counties with the highest per-capita infection rates – originated in meat factories where employees work side by side in cramped conditions, according to an analysis by the Guardian.
In Nebraska, five counties have outbreaks linked to meat plants including Dakota county, where about one of every 14 residents has tested positive – the second-highest per capita infection rate in the US. As of Thursday, the Nebraska counties of Dakota, Hall, Dawson, Saline, and Colfax accounted for almost half the state’s 9,075 positive cases, according to data tracking by the New York Times.
Meat processing plants seem to have emerged as incubators for the coronavirus, which has spread rapidly among workers unable to perform physical distancing.
Second health minister resigns in Brazil after less than a month on the job
The slow fall in the numbers being infected by Coronavirus in Iran has ended and now gone into complete reverse with the health ministry reporting official figures for new infections reaching its highest figure for a month.
Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 2,102 new cases were confirmed across the country in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall total to 116,635. The number of dead in the last 24 hours was 48, still relatively low in comparison with the pandemic’s highpoint, and bringing the death total to 6,902.
The new infections figure is the highest Iran has announced for a single day since April 6.
The worrying aspect for the government is that there appears to be a steady week long reversal in the trend ikn new infections suggesting Ministers may lifted the lockdown prematurely. But the Ministry said 80 % of the new infections were mild, and the national press contained little criticism of the government.
The health ministry will now be hoping that the growth in infections can be controlled to specific provinces in Iran, but with travel restrictions lifted the chances of containing the virus to small areas is questionable
The southwestern province of Khuzestan has been named as a problem area for a week, along with Tehran, but Jahanpour for the first time expressed concern about the imminent trends in the geographically dispersed provinces of Lorestan, Sistanb and Baluchistan and east Azerbaiijan. Iran started relaxing its controls through April and schools are due to open in most provinces from June 17. Teachers are due to be present in schools on Saturday, but pupil’s attendance is not mandatory. Dormitories in universities are also being opened.
A decision on the full opening of mosques is due next month.
Iran does not publish official province by province figures, but has a colour coding scheme designed to show the seriousness of the pandemic regionally.
Single men and women in the Netherlands are being advised to organise a seksbuddy (sex buddy) after criticism of rules dictating that home visitors maintain a 1.5-metre distance from their hosts during the coronavirus lockdown.
In a typically open-minded intervention, official guidance from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has been amended to suggest those without a permanent sexual partner come to mutually satisfactory agreements with like-minded individuals.
On the advice of scientists at the RIVM, the Netherlands has been on what the government describes as an “intelligent lockdown” since 23 March, allowing up to three visitors into homes on the strict condition that they keep their distance.
But the RIVM now concedes that “it makes sense that as a single [person] you also want to have physical contact” while warning that the risks of such intimacy should be managed.
“Discuss how best to do this together,” the RIVM suggests. “For example, meet with the same person to have physical or sexual contact (for example, a cuddle buddy or ‘sex buddy’), provided you are free of illness. Make good arrangements with this person about how many other people you both see. The more people you see, the greater the chance of (spreading) the coronavirus.”