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Brazil's Supreme Court has ordered President Bolsonaro to wear face masks in public

The ruling applies whenever he is outdoors in the capital of Brasilia.

A BRAZILIAN FEDERAL judge has ordered President Jair Bolsonaro to comply with local rules to wear a face mask whenever he is outdoors in the capital of Brasilia.

In recent weeks, a sometimes unmasked Bolsonaro has joined throngs of people protesting against Brazil’s congress and supreme court and he has often visited bakeries and outdoor food stalls, drawing crowds around him.

Brazil’s federal district requires people to wear face masks in public to help control the spread of the new coronavirus.

Failure to comply carries a possible daily fine of ¢390 US dollars.

Judge Renato Coelho Borelli said in his ruling that Bolsonaro “has exposed other people to the contagion of a disease that has caused national commotion”.

Bolsonaro often appears in public events with a mask, unlike some other heads of state, including US President Donald Trump, Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez, who has often hugged supporters and taken selfies with them while not wearing a mask, although use of a mask is mandatory in Buenos Aires.

The Brazilian president has downplayed the risk of Covid-19 and insisted the negative economic impacts of social isolation will be worse than the harm caused by the virus.

Brazil, with more than 1.1 million cases and 51,000 deaths, has been affected more than anywhere except the US, which has reported more than 2.3 million cases and 120,000 deaths, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

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