Mar 15, 2021 - Health

Brazil's Bolsonaro appoints 4th health minister since pandemic began

Jair Bolsonaro, Brazils president, speaks during a bill signing ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, on Wednesday, March 10

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, on Wednesday. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday appointed cardiologist Marcelo Queiroga as the new health minister, as the number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 continue to spike in the country, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Queiroga is Brazil's fourth health minister since the pandemic began. Intensive care units in 25 of Brazil's 26 state capitals are operating at capacity or close to it, and the numbers show no signs of slowing down.

  • Brazil has reported the second-highest number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Driving the news: Queiroga's predecessor, Brazilian Army Gen. Eduardo Pazuello, had been health minister for less than a year, but he had been criticized over COVID-19 vaccine shortages in recent weeks.

  • He also faced an investigation into oxygen shortages in Amazonas state capital Manaus, CNN notes.

By the numbers: 279,286 Brazilians have died from COVID-19 and over 11.5 million have tested positive for the virus as of Monday night, per Johns Hopkins.

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