At least seven Brazilian state capitals have once again recommended the use of face masks, as the seven-day rolling average of new daily Covid cases hits a four-month high.
In the city of São Paulo, the new guidance aims at lowering occupation rates for hospital beds, which rose by 74 percent early in June. Other states followed suit but only Piauí, in the northeast, has brought mask mandates back. Health officials have reported a 753-percent surge in infections.
Northeastern states such as Bahia are also on alert. The region is hosting Festa Junina celebrations – one of the most important events in its cultural calendar. Huge parties are held in cities, towns, and villages all over the Northeast of Brazil on the feast days of Saints Anthony (June 13), John (June 24), and Peter (June 29) – but celebrations last for weeks before and after these dates.
On June 13, the state of Bahia reported that infections were up by almost 200 percent.