The South American country is currently trying to authorise a state of emergency to allow it to scrap fiscal targets and free up funds in order to combat the growing coronavirus crisis. The news came from the country’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, on Tuesday, also announcing his second COVID-19 test came back negative.

In a statement from the presidency, the government said it will ask Congress to authorise state of emergency until December 31.

Brazil’s first confirmed fatality from the outbreak came on Tuesday.

The move puts Brazil in a growing list of nations that are pumping huge sums of money into their economies in order to prop up their health systems to cope with the impact of the virus.

In the statement, the President said: “In view of the permanent monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to increase public spending to protect the health and jobs of Brazilians and the prospect of falling revenues, the Federal Government will request the National Congress to recognise the state of emergency.”

By issuing a state of emergency, Brazil’s federal government would be freed from abiding by unyielding spending caps, allowing it to direct more money to the relief effort.

Although, the government said it was still committed to fiscal discipline.

Shortly after the announcement on Twitter, Mr Bolsonaro revealed his second test for the virus came back negative.

He had taken his first test last week after communications secretary Fabio Wajngarten, who was part of a presidential party that visited Floria and US president Donald Trump, tested positive.

In the tweet, he wrote: “I inform that my second test for COVID-19 came back negative.

“Good night to everyone.”

The first death and wide outbreak represents a huge problem for the far-right former army captain, who initially worked to play down the seriousness of the situation.

What’s more, many Brazilians were outraged when Mr Bolsonaro attended a far-right rally over the weekend when he was supposed to be in isolation.

Meanwhile, Countries throughout Latin America announced on Monday evening they would be ready themselves to enter a new phase of lockdown and quarantine.

It came as officials across the continent braced themselves for a surge in virus cases as the summer holiday period came to an end.

While Peru has deployed military personnel on the streets, Costa Rica and Colombia are set to close their borders on Tuesday.

Paraguay will impose a curfew in order to reduce the chance of spread through large gatherings and crowds.

The region has yet to be hit as hard as Asia or Europe, but Latin American governments have moved aggressively ahead of any serious infection to ensure no such event occurs, wth it shutting down cities and international transport hubs that has battered its financial markets.

Leaders have often clashed over differing policy: El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, accused Mexico of allowing people carrying the virus to board flights into the country.

Mexico has been criticised elsewhere for its apparent lack of speed in responding to the impending crisis.

Authorities in Mexico, however, deny such allegations.

Amiability between the politically averse nations of Colombia and Venezuela came in the form of the former sharing information about coronavirus with the latter.

Although, it did not amount to Colombia recognising the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s Venezuelan government.

Ivan Duque, Colombia’s president, also said the country would close off its maritime, land, and over borders from Tuesday in order to stop the chance of the virus spreading.

Source: EXPRESS

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