The US imposed a ban on entering the country from Brazil two days earlier than planned

Brazil is second only to the United States in the number of confirmed cases of infection.

On Tuesday, a ban on visitors from Brazil entering the country comes into force in the United States, adopted to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The original plan was to impose the ban for two days later, on Thursday. The authorities do not specify the reason for the postponement of the date.

The ban applies to all foreign citizens who have been in Brazil for two weeks before their intended entry into the United States.

Brazil has recently become one of the largest centers of coronavirus. According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, it is second only to the United States in the number of confirmed cases.

The Brazilian Ministry of Health on Monday reported that 807 people had died from the coronavirus in the previous day. In the United States, the daily rate was 620 deaths.

As explained in the White House, the ban “will help ensure that foreign citizens who have visited Brazil will not become a source of additional infections in the country.”

Earlier, President Donald Trump imposed similar bans on entry from China, Iran, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and 26 countries of the Schengen area.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has for months downplayed the severity of the coronavirus threat, calling it “common flu,” urging companies to resume operations and flouting recommendations for social distancing. According to Bolsonaro, a destroyed economy will take more lives than diseases.

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adanom Ghebreyesus, said on Monday that the organization was suspending the use of the drug hydroxychloroquine in its research aimed at finding an effective way to treat the coronavirus.

Ghebreyesus referred to a study published last week by the Lancet journal. According to the authors of the study, the mortality rate among patients who took the drug was higher.