Brazil’s Covid-19 “hot spots”

Brasília hot spot covid-19
Brasília’s central bus station. Photo: Ag.GDF

Brazil has seen a sudden surge in the number of Covid-19 infections over the past two and a half weeks. But the spread has been highly unequal across the country. The states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro account for 78 percent of all cases in Brazil. In relation to each state’s population, however, Brasília is the region with the most cases per 1 million residents.

The federal capital has recorded only 13 cases so far—a rate of 4.46 per 1 million people. In São Paulo, the epicenter of the outbreak in Brazil, the rate is 3.42.

In Brasília, the state government has installed 16 hand-sanitizing points in the city’s main terminal, through which 700,000 people circulate on a regular day. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing your hands remains the best prevention against the coronavirus.

But hand sanitizer has become a hot commodity in many Brazilian regions—and retailers have pushed their prices way up. In some cases, kits with two 500 ml bottles were being sold for BRL 237. Procon, Brazil’s consumer protection service, has enabled hotlines for complaints and will audit supermarkets and pharmacies across the country to prevent abusive pricing.