Brazil to enforce mandatory quarantine

Health Minister Brazil to enforce mandatory quarantine
Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta. Photo: Erasmo Salomão/MS

Justice Minister Sergio Moro and Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta have reportedly co-signed an ordinance greenlighting the use of forceful measures on suspected Covid-19 cases who don’t respect self-isolation and quarantine rules.

This new piece of legislation reinforces measures already approved by Congress last week.

The document says non-compliant patients can be charged with crimes of disobedience or violation of preventive health measures. In extreme cases, the person could be taken to a prison facility—in solitary confinement. And when disobedience implicates expenses for the public healthcare system, people can be forced to reimburse the public coffers.

Not on the same side?

Mr. Mandetta is reportedly growing disgruntled with President Jair Bolsonaro. According to newspaper Estadão, the minister sees his efforts to raise awareness around the Covid-19 outbreak undermined by Mr. Bolsonaro’s denialism. Just days after the Health Ministry issued a series of measures to avoid spreading the virus around, the president himself joined a political rally and had physical contact with at least 272 people on Sunday.

It was telling that the president chose an Army General to head the crisis committee on the coronavirus spread, instead of his Health Minister, who is also a doctor.