Pará to end lockdown on Monday. Is it too soon?

. May 23, 2020
Pará Governor Helder Barbalho. Photo: Ag.Pará Pará Governor Helder Barbalho. Photo: Ag.Pará

Helder Barbalho, governor of the Amazonian state of Pará, announced he will lift the lockdown order on state capital Belém and nine neighboring cities. The order has been enforced since May 7 in order to curb the spread of Covid-19. Mr. Barbalho, however, says the Greater Belém Area will not “swing from lockdown directly to normality,” promising a gradual reopening process instead. “It is technically proven that the curve has been flattening and the number of deaths, thank God, has dropped,” said the governor in a video shared on Twitter.

The numbers, however, seem to contradict Mr. Barbalho’s. Pará’s infection curve continues to climb, despite the lockdown. According to the Health Ministry’s latest coronavirus update, Pará had recorded 21,469 confirmed cases as of May 22. It has the seventh-highest contagion rate per 100,000 inhabitants (229.64) in Brazil, and the third-highest Covid-19 death rate per 100,000 people (21.5 in).

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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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