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Thousands protest Brazil leader over virus

Thousands protest Brazil leader over virus

Thousands of Brazilians have taken to the streets for a second day to call for the impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro, who is under fire for his government's response to rampant cases of COVID-19 which has claimed more than 216,000 lives in the country.

Horn-honking cars paraded through the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and a dozen or more other cities on Sunday as other protesters marched on foot, some calling, "Get out Bolsonaro!"

The protests were called by conservative groups that had once backed the president, while those on Saturday had come from the left.

Bolsonaro - who is midway through his four-year term - has faced renewed criticism in recent weeks both for the crisis in Manaus and for delays in launching Brazil's immunisation campaign against COVID-19.

The president has long resisted lockdown measures against the new coronavirus, arguing economic damage would be worse than the disease.

Brazil's prosecutor-general, Augusto Aras, on Saturday asked the Supreme Court to open an investigation into Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello over the crisis in Manaus, capital of Amazonas state.

Aras cited a document that said the ministry knew of a possible shortage of oxygen on January 8, but didn't start sending extra supplies until January 12.

The weekend's demonstrations come at a time of rising discussions of possible impeachment, though most analysts consider it unlikely to occur.