Brazilians protest against Bolsonaro

Demonstrations took place in at least 13 provincial capitals in Brazil, including Rio de Janeiro.
Demonstrations took place in at least 13 provincial capitals in Brazil, including Rio de Janeiro.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets throughout Brazil to demonstrate against the government's policies during the pandemic, as the number of cases of the Delta variant continues to rise.

Protesters on Saturday called for the impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro, more vaccines against Covid-19 and for economic aid, according to G1 news portal.

The demonstrations took place in at least 13 provincial capitals, including Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Salvador.

Trade unions and left-wing groups organized the demonstrations. Attendees carried banners reading "Bolsonaro - corrupt genocide. Impeach now" and "We want vaccinations, he wants bribes. Away with Bolsonaro."

The government has downplayed the pandemic since the outset and opposed lockdowns or other restrictions, citing the cost to the economy. Bolsonaro has recently also questioned whether vaccinations make sense.

A parliamentary committee is now investigating Bolsonaro's handling of the crisis.

Meanwhile the country's health authorities recorded more than 100,000 new coronavirus infections within one day on Friday, after a state belatedly submitted tens of thousands of case numbers.

The figure stood at 108,732 new infections within one day after the southern-most state of Rio Grande do Sul updated its coronavirus data collected over 500 days and submitted 64,000 new cases all at once.

The day before, Brazil had registered about 50,000 new cases. In total, more than 19.6 million people in Latin America's largest country have been confirmed to have been infected with the virus.

Officials in Rio de Janeiro on Friday warned that the Delta variant could spread rapidly after the first deaths from the highly contagious coronavirus strain were recorded in the city.

"It is expected that the Delta variant will soon become dominant in the city," Rio city health secretary Daniel Soranz said at a press conference.

The city extended restrictions, including compulsory mask-wearing, until August 9.

On Thursday, four deaths linked to the Delta strain were recorded in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The four, who died outside of the city, were not fully vaccinated.

More than 130 million vaccine doses have been administered since the nationwide vaccination campaign began in January.

About 40 per cent of adult Brazilians have received a single dose, and about 17 per cent are fully vaccinated.

In view of the lack of vaccines, however, Rio de Janeiro and other major cities have again suspended giving out initial vaccinations against the coronavirus.

Until now, the Gamma variant has been dominant in the Brazilian city.

The Delta variant was first discovered in India and is considered particularly contagious. According to current trends, it will become the dominant variant worldwide in the coming months.

More than 534,000 people have now have died in Brazil after contracting Covid-19.

Brazil is one of the countries worst hit by the pandemic.

Australian Associated Press