Brazil confirmed two deaths in a single day Tuesday, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro declared a state of emergency while the right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro gave negative in his second test of coronavirus.
COVID-19 Updates: Latin American Cases Rise, Isolation Reigns
The South American country's first victim was a 62-year-old man with underlying health conditions who died Monday in Sao Paulo, authorities said.
The man had no recent history of international travel, so he could have been a local infection.
Likewise, authorities reported that four other deaths in the same, unidentified hospital were being investigated to see if the victims succumbed to the virus.
On Tuesday night, the second death was confirmed in Rio de Janeiro, it is a 69-year-old man. According to the doctors of the Icarai Hospital, the patient was admitted on March 11 in a delicate health condition, developed pneumonia, acute respiratory failure and suffered a septic shock.
Meanwhile, Bolsonaro underwent a second coronavirus test on Tuesday and the results came back negative, as he reported on his Twitter account.
Bolsonaro, in the midst of the global crisis caused by COVID-19, has been one of the most indifferent presidents when it comes to taking measures to contain the virus. Ignoring all the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), he attended a mobilization on Sunday which was organized by his supporters and caused the annoyance of many Brazilians, including some members of Congress.
For its part, the Brazilian Congress canceled a joint session of the upper and lower houses given the concern that has provoked the development of the COVID-19 in the region, although tensions continue outside and within it due to the actions taken by the President of the Republic, with demands that call even an impeachment.
Finally, the city of Sao Paulo and state of Rio de Janeiro - which includes the city of the same name - declared states of emergency in a bid to contain the virus.
Measures included closing Rio's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and the cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain, two of the city's most famous attractions.
Sao Paulo eased regulations on government purchases of all materials linked to containing the virus - including hand sanitizer, now mandatory on public transportation.
Rio ordered restaurants to reduce the number of tables by 70 percent to increase the distance between patrons, closed stores in shopping malls and halved the number of public transport vehicles in circulation, calling on people to remain home when possible.
Brazil - the biggest country in Latin America, with 210 million people - has confirmed 291 coronavirus cases, concentrated in Sao Paulo and Rio.