Bolsonaro threatens to withdraw Brazil from WHO

BRASILIA, Jan. 26, 2019 (Xinhua) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro attends a press conference on the collapse of a dam, at Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, on Jan. 25, 2019. At least seven people were killed, nine injured and at least 150 others are missing after a tailings dam collapsed Friday afternoon in southeastern state of Minas Gerais, the state government said Friday evening. (Xinhua/Ernesto Rodrigues/AGENCIA ESTADO/IANS)

Brasilia, June 6 (IANS) Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has threatened to withdraw his country from the World Health Organization (WHO), accusing the body of being “partisan” and “political”.

Addressing the media on Friday, Bolsonaro said Brazil will consider leaving the WHO unless it stops being a “partisan political organization”, reports Xinhua news agency.

Earlier in the day, when asked about efforts to ease social-distancing orders in Brazil despite the growing number of COVID-19 deaths and cases, the WHO said a key criteria for lifting lockdowns was slowing transmission.

“The epidemic, the outbreak, in Latin America is deeply, deeply concerning,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a news conference in Geneva.

She said that among six key criteria for easing quarantines, “one of them is ideally having your transmission declining”.

Bolsonaro’s threat came the same day Brazil registered 1,005 deaths in a day, a record high.

Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of COVID-19 cases and the third highest deaths in the world.

As of Saturday morning, the total number of cases increased to 614,941, with 34,021 deaths.

Last month, US President Donald Trump had announced that Washington would also end its relationship with the WHO.

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