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Lack of data undermines social isolation in São Paulo

. Jun 12, 2020
Lack of data undermines social isolation in São Paulo Photo: GOVESP

New research by pollsters Ibope reveals that São Paulo residents want more data on Covid-19 cases in their neighborhood to make decisions about complying with social isolation measures. Fifty-seven percent of residents of Brazil’s largest, richest, and worst-hit city would be less inclined to leave their house if they had more information about infection levels in their neighborhood. However, 40 percent of respondents would not change their routine, as they are already “doing their best” to isolate themselves.

Some 800 persons aged 16 and over were interviewed in the city of São Paulo. 

The study also revealed that 66 percent of respondents consider President Jair Bolsonaro’s reaction to the coronavirus epidemic to be inadequate. And just over half of them approved of Governor João Doria and Mayor Bruno Covas’s management of the crisis. Only 33 percent agreed that the city should reopen commerce immediately and 51 percent were worried about the collapse of the public health system. 

As this Live Blog reported, the removal of localized information from Brazil’s official health data harms the tracking of the virus and the efforts to combat its spread.

The director of the emergency program of the World Health Organization, Michael J. Ryan, indicated the organization is extremely worried about the situation in Brazil today. “The cases numbers are rising,” while the occupancy rate of intensive care beds is over 80 percent. “The health system, in general, is not yet overloaded, though there are several regions where it is under strong pressure, such as in Amazonas,” he noted. “The situation in Brazil worries us.”

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Benjamin Fogel

Benjamin Fogel is a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American History at New York University and a Contributing Editor to Jacobin Magazine.

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