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‘We didn’t think the virus would spread around’

Brazil did not realise how fast the coronavirus could spread when the first reports of the coronavirus in China were released, the country's ex- health minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, has said.

He told Hardtalk's Stephen Sackur it seemed initially Covid-19 would be "a virus that didn't have much ability to really spread around - it seemed much more like a Sars in 2002 than a virus that would be so capable of spreading to people".

They tried to buy protective equipment and ventilators from China but it struggled to get supplies, Mr Mandetta explained.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly said the risks from the virus have been exaggerated. Brazil has the highest number of coronavirus cases in South America.

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2 minutes