Coronavirus — Sao Paulo Set to Reopen Despite Rising Cases

  • The metropolitan regions in the state will remain under lockdown with only essential and construction activities allowed to operate.
  • Two weeks ago, Sao Paulo’s mayor, Bruno Covas, said that the public hospitals in the city are almost full due to the rising number of coronavirus patients.
  • Brazil has become a major hotspot for the coronavirus cases, it is currently the second-biggest caseload in the World after the US.

Despite being the hardest hit state by the coronavirus pandemic, Brazil’s largest and most populous city, Sao Paulo, is set to reopen some of its businesses from June 1. While announcing this, the governor, Joao Doria, said that social distancing measures and use of masks will strictly be adhered to.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have spread to Brazil on 25 February 2020, when a man from São Paulo tested positive for the virus. As of 28 May 2020, 438,238 cases have been confirmed in the country, causing 26,754 deaths.

Doria added that until June 15, the stay-at-home measure will be observed. Sao Paulo has reported 89,483 confirmed cases with 6,712 deaths. The businesses that will reopen include shopping malls and shops.

Real estate operations and other businesses will also resume, but with restrictions. However, the metropolitan regions in the state will remain under lockdown with only essential and construction activities allowed to operate.

The governor had earlier stated that lockdown would be the only solution in scaling down the spread of coronavirus, a move backed by the health experts. However, he has since changed his mind in an effort to revive the economy.

Two weeks ago, Sao Paulo’s mayor, Bruno Covas, said that the public hospitals in the city are almost full due to the rising number of coronavirus patients. The mayor stated that he was in talks with the state governor so as to impose tougher measures in order to curb the spread of the virus before hospitals are overwhelmed. The city has a population of about 12 million people.

The governor is seen as a political rival of the President, Jair Bolsonaro, who has on several occasions singled out Doria for criticizing him. Bolsonaro has brushed shoulders with governors and mayors over the lockdown measure and their relationship has grown extremely bitter. He has continually scrapped of lockdown measures, so at to revive the country’s economy, despite the worrying situation.

São Paulo is one of the 26 states of the Federative Republic of Brazil and is named after Saint Paul of Tarsus. As the richest Brazilian state and a major industrial complex, often dubbed the “locomotive of Brazil”, the state is responsible for 33.9% of the Brazilian GDP.

Brazil has become a major hotspot for the coronavirus cases, it is currently the second-biggest caseload in the World after the US. The US leads the world in coronavirus cases with over 1.6 million. The South American country has recorded more than 410,000 cases with 25,935 deaths.

Brazil’s curve of infections and deaths continue to rise sharply, but the country’s President seems not to take the matter seriously. He is often seen freely interacting with citizens without having a mask on. Bolsanaro has also participated in anti-lockdown protests.

In one of them, he posted a video on his Facebook account whereby he did not wear a mask and was seen shaking hands and waving at the crowd. The president has always been against the quarantine and stay at home measures and has dismissed the fact that social distancing could flatten the curve.

Bolsonaro has widely been criticized for his poor handling of the coronavirus crisis in his country. He has done little to fight the virus and has compared it to “little flu.” He said that Brazilians were immune to the virus, and because they had already been infected, they had antibodies that could fight the virus. Despite this, the numbers of infections continue to rise.

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Juliet Norah

I am a freelance journalist is passionate about news. I derive pleasure in informing people about the happenings in the world

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