Hundreds of protesters call for Brazil's president to step down

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By Mark Armstrong  with AFP, AP
Some protesters accused Bolsonaro of genocide
Some protesters accused Bolsonaro of genocide   -  Copyright  AFP

Hundreds of protesters took the streets of Rio de Janeiro on Saturday calling for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to resign over his handling of the covid pandemic.

The demonstration comes as the deaths in Brazil passed 500,000, the second-highest toll in the world. On top of that, just 11.4% of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to the government.

"500,000 deaths represents a big setback," said student Isabela Gouljir. "Brazil was once an example in vaccination, we have great institutions that are internationally recognised, and it is very sad that we are in this situation because it does not correspond to Brazil's potential."

President Bolsonaro has downplayed Covid-19 while trying to keep the economy on track.

He dismissed the pandemic in its early stages, calling it just "a little flu" and he's regularly been seen in public without a mask.

Some protesters carried banners accusing him of genocide and calling for his impeachment.