Brazilians must 'face up' to COVID: Jair Bolsonaro

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro told Brazilians it was time to face the pandemic head on, instead of hiding from it.

On Saturday, he addressed a crowd in front of the Planalto Palace that was possibly the largest Bolsonaro had seen since the beginning of the health crisis.

"We regret the deaths from COVID and the other deaths in Brazil. But we must face the problem. It is not by staying under the bed covers and at home that we are going to solve this problem. We have to face (COVID-19). Life goes on! We are already talking about the third wave, if the third wave comes we will also have the fourth, fifth, sixth, infinite waves. Of course, we hope against it, but we must face it."

Health experts have said one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the virus is to restrict people's movements.

But since the beginning of the pandemic, Bolsonaro has fiercely opposed such measures.

Earlier this month, Bolsonaro threated to issue a decree to "guarantee the right to come and go".

And in his speech on Saturday, Bolsonaro reiterated his support for free movement.

Brazil has one of the world's highest COVID-19 tallies, with over 15 million cases reported.