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COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil

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COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil
COVID-19 outbreak Brazil per capita cases map.svg
Cases per million residents by state
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Brazil.svg
Map of states with confirmed coronavirus cases (as of 28 May)
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationBrazil
First outbreakWuhan, China
Index caseSão Paulo
Arrival date26 February 2020
(3 months, 1 week and 1 day)
Confirmed cases555,383[1]
Recovered223,638[1]
Deaths
31,199[1]
Government website
coronavirus.saude.gov.br

The COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have spread to Brazil on 25 February 2020,[2] when a man from São Paulo tested positive for the virus. As of 2 June 2020, 555,383 cases have been confirmed in the country, causing 31,199 deaths.[3] As of June 2020, Brazil has the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world behind the United States.

The pandemic has triggered a variety of responses from federal, state and local governments, having an impact on politics, education, the environment,[4] and the economy. On 27 March Brazil announced a temporary ban on foreign air travelers[5] and most state governors have imposed quarantines to prevent the spread of the virus.[6]

Background

On 12 January, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.[7][8]

Unlike the SARS outbreak of 2003, the case fatality ratio for COVID-19 [9][10] has been much lower, but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[11][9]

Preparation

COVID-19 cases in Brazil  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases

Feb Feb Mar Mar Apr Apr May May Jun Jun Last 15 days Last 15 days

Date
# of cases
# of deaths
2020-02-26 1(n.a.)
1(=)
2020-02-29 2(+100%)
2(=)
2020-03-04 3(+50%)
2020-03-05 7(+133%)
2020-03-06
13(+86%)
2020-03-07
19(+46%)
2020-03-08
25(+32%)
25(=)
2020-03-10
34(+36%)
2020-03-11
52(+53%)
2020-03-12
77(+48%)
2020-03-13
98(+27%)
2020-03-14
121(+23%)
2020-03-15
200(+65%)
2020-03-16
234(+17%)
2020-03-17
291(+24%) 1(n.a.)
2020-03-18
428(+47%) 4(+300%)
2020-03-19
621(+45%) 6(+50%)
2020-03-20
904(+46%) 11(+83%)
2020-03-21
1,128(+25%) 18(+64%)
2020-03-22
1,546(+37%) 25(+39%)
2020-03-23
1,891(+22%) 34(+36%)
2020-03-24
2,201(+16%) 46(+35%)
2020-03-25
2,433(+11%) 57(+24%)
2020-03-26
2,915(+20%) 77(+35%)
2020-03-27
3,417(+17%) 92(+19%)
2020-03-28
3,903(+14%) 114(+24%)
2020-03-29
4,256(+9%) 136(+19%)
2020-03-30
4,579(+7.6%) 159(+17%)
2020-03-31
5,717(+25%) 201(+26%)
2020-04-01
6,834(+20%) 241(+20%)
2020-04-02
7,910(+16%) 299(+24%)
2020-04-03
9,056(+14%) 359(+20%)
2020-04-04
10,278(+13%) 432(+20%)
2020-04-05
11,130(+8.3%) 486(+12%)
2020-04-06
12,056(+8.3%) 553(+14%)
2020-04-07
13,717(+14%) 667(+21%)
2020-04-08
15,927(+16%) 800(+20%)
2020-04-09
17,857(+12%) 941(+18%)
2020-04-10
19,638(+10%) 1,056(+12%)
2020-04-11
20,727(+5.5%) 1,124(+6.4%)
2020-04-12
22,169(+7%) 1,223(+8.8%)
2020-04-13
23,430(+5.7%) 1,328(+8.6%)
2020-04-14
25,262(+7.8%) 1,532(+15%)
2020-04-15
28,320(+12%) 1,736(+13%)
2020-04-16
30,425(+7.4%) 1,924(+11%)
2020-04-17
33,682(+11%) 2,141(+11%)
2020-04-18
36,599(+8.7%) 2,347(+9.6%)
2020-04-19
38,654(+5.6%) 2,462(+4.9%)
2020-04-20
40,581(+5%) 2,575(+4.6%)
2020-04-21
43,079(+6.2%) 2,741(+6.4%)
2020-04-22
45,757(+6.2%) 2,906(+6%)
2020-04-23
49,492(+8.2%) 3,313(+14%)
2020-04-24
52,995(+7.1%) 3,670(+11%)
2020-04-25
58,509(+10%) 4,016(+9.4%)
2020-04-26
61,888(+5.8%) 4,205(+4.7%)
2020-04-27
66,501(+7.5%) 4,543(+8%)
2020-04-28
71,886(+8.1%) 5,017(+10%)
2020-04-29
78,162(+8.7%) 5,466(+8.9%)
2020-04-30
85,380(+9.2%) 5,901(+8%)
2020-05-01
91,299(+6.9%) 6,329(+7.3%)
2020-05-02
96,396(+5.6%) 6,724(+6.2%)
2020-05-03
101,147(+4.9%) 7,025(+4.5%)
2020-05-04
107,780(+6.6%) 7,321(+4.2%)
2020-05-05
114,715(+6.4%) 7,921(+8.2%)
2020-05-06
125,218(+9.2%) 8,535(+7.8%)
2020-05-07
135,106(+7.9%) 9,146(+7.2%)
2020-05-08
145,328(+7.6%) 9,897(+8.2%)
2020-05-09
155,939(+7.3%) 10,627(+7.4%)
2020-05-10
162,699(+4.3%) 11,123(+4.7%)
2020-05-11
168,331(+3.5%) 11,519(+3.6%)
2020-05-12
177,589(+5.5%) 12,400(+7.6%)
2020-05-13
188,974(+6.4%) 13,149(+6%)
2020-05-14
202,918(+7.4%) 13,993(+6.4%)
2020-05-15
218,223(+7.5%) 14,817(+5.9%)
2020-05-16
233,142(+6.8%) 15,633(+5.5%)
2020-05-17
241,080(+3.4%) 16,118(+3.1%)
2020-05-18
254,220(+5.5%) 16,792(+4.2%)
2020-05-19
271,628(+6.8%) 17,971(+7%)
2020-05-20
291,579(+7.3%) 18,859(+4.9%)
2020-05-21
310,087(+6.3%) 20,047(+6.3%)
2020-05-22
330,890(+6.7%) 21,048(+5%)
2020-05-23
347,398(+5%) 22,013(+4.6%)
2020-05-24
363,211(+4.6%) 22,666(+3%)
2020-05-25
374,898(+3.2%) 23,473(+3.6%)
2020-05-26
391,222(+4.4%) 24,512(+4.4%)
2020-05-27
411,821(+5.3%) 25,598(+4.4%)
2020-05-28
438,238(+6.4%) 26,754(+4.5%)
2020-05-29
465,166(+6.1%) 27,878(+4.2%)
2020-05-30
498,440(+7.2%) 28,834(+3.4%)
2020-05-31
514,849(+3.3%) 29,314(+1.7%)
2020-06-01
526,447(+2.3%) 29,937(+2.1%)
2020-06-02
555,383(+5.5%) 31,199(+4.2%)
Sources:
  • Brazilian Ministry of Health [12]

On 28 January, the Ministry of Health (Ministério da Saúde) raised the emergency alert to level 2 of 3, considering an "imminent threat" for Brazil, as a suspected case was being investigated in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais,[13] in a student who had recently visited Wuhan, China, the outbreak's place of origin.[14] The following day, the Ministry announced it was investigating two other suspected cases in Porto Alegre and Curitiba. On 3 February, the Minister of Health Luiz Henrique Mandetta said that the Brazilian government would declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, even without confirmed cases in the country.

On 3 February, the Minister of Health also said the government would assist with the return of Brazilians from Wuhan, China,[15] and two days later, the government sent two planes to evacuate 34 Brazilians from Wuhan. The plan was for them to return to the country on 8 February, upon which they, the flight crew, and the doctors and health professionals with whom they had contact would be quarantined for 18 days at a Brazilian Air Force base in Anápolis, Goiás.[16][17] On 23 February, the quarantined people were released several days earlier than planned, as repeated tests showed negative results for COVID-19.[18]

Timeline of outbreak in Brazil

February

  • 25 February: The first case of COVID-19 in Brazil—which was also the first in South America—was reported by the Health Department of São Paulo. The infected person was a 61-year-old man who had returned from Lombardy, Italy.[19][20] (He eventually recovered.)[21] A second case was confirmed soon after in another person who had recently traveled from Italy.[22]
  • 28 February: Brazilian scientists from Adolfo Lutz Institute and the University of São Paulo's Tropical Medicine Institute—part of the Centre for Arbovirus Discovery, Diagnostics, Genomics & Epidemiology—announced they had sequenced the COVID-19 genomes from the first two cases reported in Brazil. The sequencing had been completed in a record time of two days[23] and was released on the GISAID database. The information was expected to assist in improving the diagnosis and control measures to curb the spread of the disease.[24] The analysis showed that the virus had been separately introduced from Northern Italy to Brazil on two occasions. This has direct implications for understanding the outbreak in Italy.[25]

March

  • 6 March: Brazilian scientists announced the laboratory cultivation of coronavirus. The intent was to help diagnose and vaccinate against the disease.[26]
  • 12 March: Fábio Wajngarten, Press Secretary to President Bolsonaro, tested positive for COVID-19. The health of the president and his cabinet was monitored due to their recent exposure to the infected man. Wajngarten had also interacted with U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence during Bolsonaro's visit to Miami on 7 March.[27]
The Ministry of Health requested an additional R$10 billion (US$2.1 billion) in the federal budget to fight the disease in Brazil.[28] It estimated that 2,000 intensive care units would be immediately needed.[29]
The cruise ship Silver Shadow arrived from the Bahamas and docked in Recife, Pernambuco, bearing 318 passengers and 291 crew members, including one suspected case of COVID-19. The ship was isolated by health authorities.[30]
  • 13 March: President Jair Bolsonaro tested negative for COVID-19.[31][32]
The Ministry of Health issued a warning recommending Brazilians and foreigners arriving in Brazil to stay in isolation for at least 7 days.[33]
  • 17 March: Brazil's first coronavirus-related death was confirmed.[34] At this time, there were 291 confirmed cases in the country.[35]
The State of Santa Catarina declared a state of emergency. As preventive measures, it closed non-essential shops and services (shopping malls, gyms, restaurants, hotels) and suspended public transit, inter-city and inter-state buses, public meetings, concerts, theatres, sport events and religious services.[36]
  • 20 March: State health departments reported almost a thousand confirmed cases across 23 of 26 states and also in the Federal District.[37]
  • 21 March: The State of São Paulo declared a state-wide quarantine. All commerce and non-essential services were to close 24 March⁠–⁠7 April. (The quarantine was later extended.)[38][39]
All Brazilian states had reported at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, with the most recent being Roraima.[40]
  • 26 March: A month after the first confirmed case on 26 February, the Ministry of Health reported that Brazil had 2,915 confirmed cases and 77 deaths.[41]
  • 28 March: The Ministry of Health reported that Brazil had 3,904 confirmed cases and 114 deaths, suggesting a mortality of 2.9%. Approximately 90% of deaths were people over 60 years of age, and most were men. In 84% of deaths, patients had at least one risk factor, most commonly heart disease, followed by diabetes and pneumopathy.[42][43]

April

Number of cases (blue) and number of deaths (red) on a logarithmic scale.
  • 6 April: President Jair Bolsonaro threatened to fire the Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, after they clashed.[44] Following criticism, Bolsonaro temporarily backed down.[45]
  • 9 April: The federal government sent out its first financial assistance to the public. Over 2.5 million people received R$600 ($116).[46]
  • 10 April: Brazil confirmed the thousandth coronavirus-related death, as the number of confirmed cases neared 20,000.[47]
The virus had reached remote locations; a Yanomami teen died of it in Roraima.[48]
  • 14 April: The Ministry of Health reported a total of 25,262 confirmed cases and 1,532 confirmed deaths. Over 14,000 people had recovered.[49]
  • 16 April: President Bolsonaro fired the Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, over disagreements about social distancing guidelines.[50] He said he would appoint a health minister who favored reopening businesses "as quickly as possible".[51] Shortly afterwards, Nelson Teich was appointed to replace him.[52]
  • 20 April: Several cities started to ease social isolation guidelines in favor of contact tracing. Some retail stores were allowed to open as long as customers wore masks, the number of in-person customers was reduced, and customer personal information was tracked.
  • 24 April: Brazil confirmed more than fifty thousand cases.[53]
  • 30 April: Brazil overtook China in number of confirmed cases, surpassing 87,000 [54]

May

  • 3 May: Brazil confirmed more than a hundred thousand cases; the number of cases had doubled in less than 10 days.[55]
  • 7 May: Several cities in the northern states of Amazonas and Pará begun issuing lockdown measures in order to curb the spread of the virus.[56] Other cities in other states consider doing the same.
  • 9 May: Brazil confirmed more than ten thousand deaths; the number of deaths doubled in less than two weeks.[57]
  • 14 May: Brazil confirmed more than 200,000 cases; the number of cases had doubled in 11 days.[58]
The state of Ceará became the second most state in confirmed numbers, overtaking Rio de Janeiro.
  • 15 May: Brazil's minister of Health, Nelson Teich, resigns less than a month after being nominated. He cited similar reasons to his predecessor: his clashes with the president over the use of hydroxychloroquine, the social distancing guidelines, and being overruled on rules he was supposed to define.[59][60] General Eduardo Pazuello assumed the role of Interim Minister of Health, until an official replacement can be found.[61]
  • 26 May: Reuters reported that according to four officials, the Ministry of Health's initial 13 March response to the pandemic was halted and scaled back by President Bolsonaro less than a day later, with power transferred on 16 March from the ministry to the office of General Walter Souza Braga Netto, the Cabinet Chief of Staff.[62]

Response

Policy responses and prevention announced in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contingency plan booklet of the pandemic

Scientific research and forecast

On 19 March, scientists predicted up to 2 million deaths in Brazil in the worst-case scenario without measures to contain the virus. They pointed out that a policy of social distancing was one of the most effective measures given the lack of a vaccine.[63]

On 20 March, experts from Italy warned that the coronavirus growth curve in Brazil would repeat that of European countries. An observatory with physicists from USP, Unicamp, Unesp, UnB, UFABC, UC Berkeley and the University of Oldenburg showed that the number of infected people, considering data from 19 March, had been doubling every 54 hours, and that the case total would exceed 3,000 by the 24th.[64][65]

On 21 March, researchers began to mobilize in order to increase the availability of testing in Brazil. The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro was attempting to create a serology test, as opposed to the more common PCR test, to detect infections through a patient's blood samples.[66] Minister of Health Luiz Henrique Mandetta said that the number of cases would increase exponentially until the end of June.[67]

On 23 March, a report from FGV economist Emerson Marçal predicted a negative 2020 GDP of up to 4.4% due to the effect of the coronavirus.[68]

Eleven COVID-19 patients died after receiving high doses of the anti-malarial drug chloroquine in a study in Brazil. This was reported in mid-April. The study was halted.[69]

Preventive measures

Brazilian firefighters will be helping in the detection of suspected cases

On 17 March, Brazilian authorities partially closed their border with Venezuela. Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta had urged closure of the border due to Venezuela's collapsing health system.[70]

On 18 March, Rio de Janeiro and five other municipalities—São Gonçalo, Guapimirim, Niterói, Nova Iguaçu, and Mesquita—in the state of Rio de Janeiro had declared a state of emergency to help contain the coronavirus.[71]

The following day, the government of Rio Grande do Sul declared a public emergency situation. Among the measures adopted were the prohibition of interstate travel and the restriction of items purchased in the markets.[72]

On 20 March, the government of Rio Grande do Norte declared a public emergency situation.[73]

Government declarations about the disease on the Palácio do Planalto

The government of Rio Grande do Norte decreed a public emergency. The measure became effective on Friday 20, after being published in the Official Gazette of the State.[73]

On 21 March, in São Paulo, cases of coronavirus rose almost 40% in two hours. Deaths also increased in the period. Cities in the Campinas region declared an emergency situation. In addition to the metropolis, Hortolândia, Holambra, Indaiatuba, Itapira, Jaguariúna, Mogi Guaçu, Mogi Mirim, Paulínia, Sumaré and Águas de Lindoia issued decrees with special measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 cases. Valinhos and Vinhedo declared a state of public emergency.[74][75]

Sirens used to warn people about the dangers of the pandemic

On 9 May, the government of Rio Grande do Sul established a new social distancing plan. Given that some areas were more affected than others, the local government organized the state in 20 sectors. Each sector is ranked — according to the number of cases, hospital occupancy rates, and other factors — from Yellow (low risk), to Orange, Red, and Black (high risk). The goal of this scale is to be able to respond better to the current pandemic, and allow the population on lower risk areas to return to a somewhat normal life.[76]

Internal policy

On 20 March, Bolsonaro criticized the governor of Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel (PSC), for asking for the suspension of the arrival of flights from states where contamination by the new coronavirus had been confirmed.[77]

President Jair Bolsonaro said that closing shopping malls and commerce hurt the economy. In the midst of the pandemic, experts from around the world suggested that measures to restrict the circulation of individuals was one of the most efficient ways to contain the spread of the virus. However, Bolsonaro said on 20 March that he opposed the closing of trade and market places that had been decreed by most state governors as a measure to combat the coronavirus.[78]

The governor of São Paulo, João Doria, countered president Bolsonaro's supposed lack of action, by saying that state's governors are playing the role that should've been his, which was to lead [the people] amidst the pandemic of the new coronavirus. Earlier in Brasília, Bolsonaro criticized what he called "extreme measures", such as "closing shopping malls and weekly outdoor markets".[79]

By 20 March, Brazil had the second-most cases of coronavirus in the executive cabinet, just after Iran and followed by France. The Brazilian government had at least thirteen prominent politicians infected. Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, and the President of the Senate, Davi Alcolumbre were confirmed as infected on 18 March.[80]

On 21 March, Bolsonaro claimed that Congress wanted to impeach him to force a confrontation.[clarification needed] The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), and of the Senate, Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP), as well as the leaders of the main parties in Congress were stated to no longer believe in the possibility of productive dialogue with President Jair Bolsonaro.[81]

On 23 March, Rodrigo Maia stated that Brazil might need between $78.1 billion to combat the virus.[82]

On 24 March, president Bolsonaro declared that the routine in the country must return to normality and that the Brazilian press spread panic around the coronavirus, which he again called "little flu". Speaking on radio and television, Bolsonaro also criticized governors for implementing quarantine—with trade and border closures—and questioned why schools were closed.[83][84]

The president called for "a return to normalcy", an end to "mass confinement" and said that the media had spread "dread". Senate President Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP) released a note in which he classified Bolsonaro's speech as "serious" and said the country needs "serious leadership". The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), affirmed that the statement "was wrong when attacking the press, the governors and specialists in public health".[citation needed]

A large number of the Brazilian politicians spoke out against this statement by the President of the Republic.[a] The PSDB, the Brazilian Press Association (ABI), the Secretaries of Health of the Northeast, the Brazilian Society of Infectology, also spoke against the president's speech. In favor of the president's speech, his two sons Eduardo Bolsonaro (no party) federal deputy and Flávio Bolsonaro (no party) senator, along with Vitor Hugo (PSL-GO), federal deputy, spoke.[85]

Citizens in several Brazilian cities banged pots in protest against Bolsonaro. São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Belo Horizonte and Recife were some of the cities in which people threw pots during the president's speech on Tuesday 24. Brazilians protested against the pronouncement of Bolsonaro (without party). "Pots" were heard in Águas Claras, in the Southwest, in Cruzeiro, in Asa Norte, in Asa Sul and in Taguatinga.[86][87]

Foreign policy

On 19 March, Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of President Jair Bolsonaro, set off a diplomatic dispute with China, Brazil's largest trading partner, when he retweeted a message blaming the Chinese Communist Party for the virus.[88] Yang Wanming, China's top diplomat in Brazil, later retweeted a message saying "The Bolsonaro family is the great poison of this country."[89] Bolsonaro made a televised speech about the pandemic, during which both pro and anti-Bolsonaro panelaços broke out in the largest cities of Brazil.[90] According to one poll, 64% of Brazilians rejected the way Bolsonaro had been handling the pandemic, while 44.8% supported his impeachment, an all-time high.[91] According to some sources in Congress, Bolsonaro was shutting down political dialogue on purpose. They claim he was forcing his impeachment as a way to mobilize his supporters.[81]

President's response

Despite the global impact of the virus and continuous guidelines from the World Health Organization and other health and scientific institutions, Jair Bolsonaro, the President of Brazil, views that the risk posed by coronavirus has been exaggerated.[92] State governors have openly disagreed, imposing lockdowns measures in their own states.[93] Jair Bolsonaro has also projected a lax attitude for which he has often been criticized.[94] During an official announcement on television on 6 March, he said that people "must strictly follow the experts' recommendations as the best protective measure" but that "there is no reason to panic".[95] On 10 March, he referred to the pandemic as a "fantasy" created by the media.[96] On 15 March, while he was being monitored by doctors because his press secretary had tested positive for COVID-19, he met his supporters in a public parade in Brasília without wearing a mask;[97] after the event, he claimed that businesses were profiting off "hysteria," and he said the public should not react with "neurosis."[94] Within a week, impeachment cases were brought up against Bolsonaro for his participation in the parade.[98] On 24 March, Bolsonaro delivered a public announcement criticizing local governments for issuing quarantines over "a small flu" and blaming the media for scaring the population.[99] On 28 April, when a reporter pointed out that Brazil's deaths had surpassed China's, he replied, "So what? I'm sorry, but what do you want me to do?"[100] Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have removed some posts shared by President Bolsonaro for including coronavirus misinformation.[101]

Impact

Economy

A branch of SESC Hotels in São João da Barra had to close down due to the financial crisis caused by the pandemic.[102][103][104][105]

Economists expect an economic stagnation for the country in 2020.[106] On 16 March, the Ministry of Economy announced a stimulus package of R$147.3 billion (US$29 billion) to help the economy against the effects of the pandemic.[107] The Brazilian government is also in negotiations with the New Development Bank to receive an aid package for its COVID-19 efforts; China received one billion USD from the same institution.[108]

On 21 March, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes announced a series of aid measures to reduce the impact on the economy. A scholarship for self-employed professionals, to the amount of R$200, is being prepared, in addition to the payment guarantee for workers who have reduced working hours.[67]

On 23 March, government announced package of R$85.8 billion for states and municipalities. The amount includes transfers to the health area, recomposition of transfers of constitutional funds and suspension of the maturity of debts of the states with the Union.[109]

Education

By 20 March, the pandemic had impacted education all over the world. There were nationwide school closures in over 100 countries. However, President Jair Bolsonaro announced few country-wide measures to slow the spread of the virus,[110][111] and because the federal government decided not to cancel classes in the whole country, lower levels of government have done so on independently. Municipal, state, and private schools and universities had different reactions regarding the suspension of classes. Classes were suspended at once, gradually or not at all. Some of them were replaced with distance education or simply postponed. Because of that, there are only "localized" (as opposed to "national") school closures, according to UNESCO.[112]

Environment

The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil, increasing by over half compared to baseline levels, according to satellite imagery.[4][113] COVID-19 threatens indigenous communities in the Amazon region.[114]

Favelas

By 17 March, residents of favelas in Rio de Janeiro suffered from a lack of water. Without water to clean themselves, this made them vulnerable to the proliferation of coronavirus. Water did not reach parts of the Baixada Fluminense and the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro. Among the affected areas are the Chatuba de Mesquita, Camarista, Méier and Complexo do Alemão communities. The infectious disease doctor and pediatrician Cristiana Meirelles said that without clean running water, the situation of fighting the epidemic would become catastrophic.[115] Cufa (Central Única das Favelas, a NGO that operates with Favelas) called for measures to contain coronavirus in favelas. Government actions did not include the economically fragile, a contingent that totals more than 70 million people, said the organization.[116]

Some areas of Maré had been without water for two days, and other areas were reported to have been without water for two weeks.[117][118][119]

Healthcare

Bulletin of human infection by the new coronavirus

Following the first reported cases in Brazil, there were concerns whether its healthcare system would be able to deal with the pandemic.

On 18 March 2020 hospitals in São Paulo denounced a lack of health materials, such as masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, caused by an increase in prices.[120][121] According to them, packages of masks went from R$4.50 in January to R$140 by 17 March. The government said it will negotiate with industry to meet the demand.[122][123]

In Salvador, local shops experienced shortages of masks and hand sanitizer.[124] Rio and five other municipalities in the state declared an emergency to contain the coronavirus. The municipalities of São Gonçalo and Guapimirim also declared a state of emergency; Niterói, Nova Iguaçu and Mesquita declared an emergency situation in the area of public health.[71]

On 19 March 2020 scientists predicted up to 2 million deaths in Brazil in the worst-case scenario, without measures to contain the coronavirus. They pointed out that maintaining social distance was one of the most effective measures in the absence of a vaccine.[63] Their conclusion came after analyzing the growth curve of COVID-19 cases in Brazil. The contagion rate was the same as that registered in Italy, as the number of infected people had been doubling every 54 hours. According to estimates, the number of confirmed cases might reach 3,000 by 24 March.[64] According to the Ministry of Health, the number of infected patients would grow exponentially until the end of June.[67] The mayor of Belo Horizonte, Alexandre Kalil (PSD), asked General Altair José Polsin, commander of the 4th Army Region, for the temporary assignment of 51 professionals from the army garrison to assist in the demands of fighting the coronavirus. The Brazilian Army has not yet said whether it will meet this demand. Peak cases of COVID-19 in Belo Horizonte were expected to occur in the first week of April. In an interview, the health secretary announced the creation of two more Respiratory Disease centers and was studying placing PMs to serve the population.[125][126][126]

The Government of Rio Grande do Sul decreed a public emergency situation, with measures including the prohibition of interstate travel and the restriction of items purchased in the markets, with the decree in force from 19 March 2020.[72] Employees at four public hospitals in the city of São Paulo reported a shortage of materials such as alcohol gel, masks and gloves when caring for patients with suspected coronavirus. Professionals in the Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS) reported a shortage of masks and rationing of gel alcohol, though the situation of public-service workers was different from[how?] that of private hospitals in São Paulo.[120][121] Stores specializing in medical supplies no longer had alcohol gels and masks, including N95 masks used by health professionals. Street vendors were reported to be taking advantage of the demand for equipment and trying to profit from it.[124]

Health professionals clean up public transport to prevent spread

On 20 March the press reported that Brazil was contradicting the recommendation of the World Health Organization by only testing patients in a severe condition. João Gabbardo, executive secretary at the Ministry of Health, said that the criteria adopted would not change, and people with serious cases would be tested for COVID-19.[37] The following day, a group of scientists announced they were developing new COVID-19 tests in Brazil. They expect to elaborate a test which will work with a single drop of blood from the patient. They expected it to be ready during the current outbreak of COVID-19, and hoped to engage some of the main Brazilian universities in its development.[66] Without protective items, health workers improvised caps as masks in hospitals. In addition to the first cases of coronavirus in Acre, health professionals in the state had to deal with the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE). Some agents improvised with caps as masks.[127]

Health professionals in the state of Rio de Janeiro (RJ) complained about the lack of conditions to work with patients in COVID-19. Doctors said there were no N95 masks, with a more efficient filter, at Hospital Salgado Filho. Unions said there was a shortage of personal protective equipment in hospitals.[128]

Religious services

Dom Odilo Scherer, Archbishop of São Paulo, had initially defended the position that churches should not be closed, arguing that there should be more daily services to diffuse large gatherings. Later, he declared the suspension of celebrations with the people.[129][130][131] Bishop Edir Macedo, founder of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, also declared that services should not be suspended, as well as Silas Malafaia, leader of Assembleia de Deus Vitória em Cristo.[129] Malafaia said he would only close his churches if mandated by a court order. Macedo caused greater controversy after he dismissed coronavirus as a creation of the media.[132]

Television programming

Brazilian networks started airing prevention tips during their programming. Globo, SBT, RecordTV, Band, and RedeTV! announced they would stop production of all of their telenovelas, and would record their talk shows without a live audience, while expanding journalism in their programming.[133][134][135]

Statistics

Total confirmed cases

New cases, per day


Total confirmed deaths

New deaths, per day


See also

Notes

  1. ^ They included: Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP) President of the Senate, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ) President of the Chamber, Felipe Santa Cruz President of the OAB, Gilmar Mendes Minister of the STF, Wilson Witzel (PSC) governor of Rio de Janeiro, Helder Barbalho (MDB) governor of Pará, Alexandre Frota (PSDB-SP) federal deputy, Joice Hasselmann (PSL-SP) federal deputy, Janaina Paschoal (PSL-SP) state deputy, Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG) senator, Kim Kataguiri (DEM-SP) federal deputy, José Serra (PSDB) former Minister of Health, José Ricardo Roriz vice president of Fiesp, Leila do Vôlei (PSB-DF) senator, Renato Casagrande (PSB) governor of Espírito Santo, Wellington Dias (PT), governor of Piauí, Fátima Bezerra (PT) governor of Rio Grande do Norte, Antonio Anastasia (PSD-MG) senator, Fernando Henrique Cardoso former president, João Amoêdo ex-president of the New Party, Enio Verri (PT-PR) federal deputy, Eduardo Braga (MDB-AM) senator, Humberto Costa (PT-PE) senator, Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP) senator, Alessandro Molon (PSB-RJ) federal deputy, Flávio Dino (PCdoB) governor of Maranhão, José Nobre Guimarães (PT-CE) federal deputy, Rogério Carvalho (PT-SE) senator, Fernanda Melchionna (PSOL-RS) federal deputy, Weverton Rocha (PDT-MA) senator, Marcelo Freixo (PSOL-RJ) federal deputy, Paulo Pimenta (PT -RS) federal deputy, Jean-Paul Prates (PT-RN) senator, Eliziane Gama (Cidadania-MA) senator, Marcelo Ramos (PL-AM) federal deputy, Arnaldo Jardim (Cidadania-SP) federal deputy, Reinaldo Azambuja (PSDB) governor of Mato Grosso do Sul, Wilson Lima (PSC) governor of Amazonas.[85]

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External links