Experts recommend Rio lockdown amid Omicron boom

lockdown rio de janeiro
Photo: Jorge Hely Veiga/Shutterstock

A coronavirus committee from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro recommended that Greater Rio should be put under lockdown to contain the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. 

In a new report, the committee estimated the city’s transmission rate at 2.6 — meaning that every 100 infected people would be expected to contaminate 260, who in turn would infect another 676, and so on. The university deems lockdown necessary once the transmission rate exceeds 2.

Since January 3, the city has confirmed at least 257,000 new Covid cases. On Sunday, the seven-day average of new daily infections reached 24,000 — an increase of 458 percent from two weeks ago.

At this point, it is hard to imagine local governments bringing restrictions back — let alone enacting a full-scale lockdown. Governments cannot afford to do so from either a financial or political standpoint.