Brazil Health Ministry expects to spend $2 billion fighting coronavirus

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FILE PHOTO: A cleaner disinfects an alley of the Vila Ipiranga slum during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Niteroi near Rio de Janeiro Brazil, March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s Health Ministry expects to spend around 10 billion reais ($2.0 billion) to combat the coronavirus pandemic, and the government will seek a World Bank loan to help cover that expense, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement came in response to a report by newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo citing a Health Ministry document sent to the Economy Ministry with a cost estimate of 410 billion reais. The Health Ministry said the number appeared erroneously in the document cited by the newspaper, suggesting the “4” was typed by accident because it appears on the same key as the “$” symbol.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Gram Slattery

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