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Court compels Brazil’s president to always wear face mask in public

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A Brazilian judge has ordered Jair Bolsonaro to rectify his “at best disrespectful” behaviour by wearing a face mask when circulating in the capital, Brasília.

The president has sparked outrage by repeatedly flouting measures designed to slow the advance of a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 50,000 Brazilians.

The far-right president has been criticised for belittling the risk posed by coronavirus.

He dismissed it as “a little cold” at the start of the pandemic.

Brazil has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases and Covid-related fatalities in the world after the US.

There are more than 1.1m confirmed cases of coronavirus in Brazil and more than 51,000 coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Despite these high figures, President Bolsonaro has repeatedly appeared in public without a mask while greeting his supporters.

At one rally, he was filmed coughing without covering his mouth and on another occasion he was seen sneezing into his hand and shaking the hand of an elderly woman immediately afterwards.

The requirement to wear masks in the federal district came into force on 30 April.

The rule was brought in by the governor of the federal district, Ibaneis Rocha, and requires people to cover their nose and mouth in all public spaces, including public transport, shops and commercial and industrial premises.

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