Inside the Americas

Special programme: Brazil, Latin America's Covid-19 epicentre

INSIDE THE AMERICAS
INSIDE THE AMERICAS © FRANCE 24

With Brazil's Covid-19 death toll surpassing 25,000, sometimes at the rate of more than 1,000 per day, the World Health Organization has declared it the "most affected" country in South America, the new epicentre of the coronavirus. In this special edition of Inside The Americas, we see how the poorest and most isolated Brazilians are paying a heavy price, while President Jair Bolsonaro continues to downplay the severity of the pandemic.

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Brazil is grappling with the Covid-19 crisis at a time of political turmoil. Despite the coronavirus threat, President Jair Bolsonaro is often seen shaking hands and embracing his supporters. Bolsonaro has been widely criticised for his cavalier approach to hygiene measures. Can his populist politics survive his handling of the pandemic? We take a closer look.

>> Watch our Debate show: Out of control? Covid-19 in Bolsonaro's Brazil

Plus, our correspondents Fanny Lothaire and Laura Damase report on why the residents of Rio de Janeiro's densely populated favelas are being hit hard by the virus, despite many of them being younger than patients in other countries. Favela residents rarely undergo medical check-ups, and respiratory illnesses have long been common.

We also get a glimpse of how the country's indigenous communities are dealing with Covid-19 as some activists warn that these vulnerable populations could be wiped out if left unprotected. Despite its remoteness, the Brazilian state of Amazonas is one of the most-affected places.

Finally, Bolsonaro recently dismissed the country's culture secretary after downgrading the role itself. Filmmaker Sabrina Fidalgo joins us from Rio to share how the current political climate in Brazil is affecting cultural industries.

>> Watch our Reporters show: Populism and the pandemic, the great divide in Brazil

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