May 15, 2020 / 9:32 PM / 11 days ago

Brazil emergency coronavirus checks already total $20.5 billion: economy minister

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's Economy Minister Paulo Guedes wears a protective mask during a news conference after a meeting with President of Brazil's Supreme Federal Court Dias Toffoli, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the Supreme Federal Court in Brasilia, Brazil May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s emergency payments to aid low-income workers during the new coronavirus pandemic already total around 120 billion reais ($20.5 billion) and that figure could rise, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said on Friday.

Guedes told a press briefing marking the 500th day of President Jair Bolsonaro’s government that to weather the crisis the country must seek to strike a balance between public health and the economy.

Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello; Editing by Chris Reese

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