March 18, 2020 / 7:51 PM / 11 days ago

Bolsonaro says Brazil will face difficult days ahead, seeks to avoid hysteria

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro wearing a protective face mask reacts during a news conference to announce measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brasilia, Brazil March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday that the global coronavirus outbreak is knocking on the country’s door and that there will be difficult days ahead, asking for the population to avoid hysteria.

Speaking at a press conference wearing a mask, Bolsonaro also defended his weekend attendance of a right-wing rally when he was supposed to be in isolation, saying he needed to be close to his supporters and that people should not be surprised if he is seen travelling in a packed subway train.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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