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Brazil health minister resigns after a month on the job as COVID-19 deaths rise

Brazil's health minister has resigned after less than a month in the job and a day after the country announced nearly 14,000 deaths from Coronavirus.

The sudden resignation of Nelson Teich was announced in a WhatsApp message from the health ministry on Friday morning. He was Brazil’s second health minister to leave office in less than a month.

Nelson Teich had reportedly criticised a decree issued by President Jair Bolsonaro for allowing gyms and beauty parlours to reopen despite the spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths. Bolsonaro also gave the green light for wider use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the novel coronavirus, which Teich resisted due to a lack of scientific evidence.

His predecessor, Luiz Mandetta was sacked after disagreeing with Mr. Bolsonaro over social isolation measures, which Bolsonaro dismissed as unnecessary.

Military members of the Brazilian cabinet are pushing for deputy health minister Eduardo Pazuello, an army general on active duty, to become the new health minister, making permanent his interim role, a government source told Reuters news agency.

Nelson Teich resignation comes just days after Brazil passed Germany and France in coronavirus cases, with more than 200,000 confirmed by Thursday with 844 new deaths, bringing the death toll to 13,933.

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