Two more governors test positive for Covid-19

. May 19, 2020
Two more governors test positive for Covid-19 Pernambuco Governor Paulo Câmara. Photo: Roberto Pereira/SEI

The number of Brazilian state governors who have contracted the coronavirus increased from three to five on Monday. Both Paulo Câmara, from the northeastern state of Pernambuco, and Antonio Denarium, from the northern state of Roraima, announced on Instagram that they had tested positive for Covid-19. Previously, Wilson Witzel (Rio de Janeiro), Helder Barbalho (Pará), and Renan Filho (Alagoas) had also tested positive.

Since Saturday, the state of Pernambuco has imposed strict lockdowns in Greater Recife, the state capital. Early results, according to Mr. Câmara, are promising. “Social isolation rates, compared to the previous weekend, were up by 10 percentage points,” he told reporters. The state has confirmed over 20,000 Covid-19 cases and 1,600 deaths.

In Roraima, Antonio Denarium is an outlier. Despite being a staunch supporter of Jair Bolsonaro, his actions have gone completely against the president during the coronavirus crisis. He has ordered stores to close — with few exceptions — suspended classes, sent state civil servants to work from home, prohibited inter-municipal bus trips, and closed the borders with Venezuela.

But despite doing the exact opposite of what the president has asked governors, Mr. Denarium refuses to criticize the head of state: “Mr. Bolsonaro has a strong character and he is worried about the economy,” he says.

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Gustavo Ribeiro

An award-winning journalist, Gustavo has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics and international affairs. He has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets and founded The Brazilian Report in 2017. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

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