Mandetta: if we do change isolation measures, it will be based on science

Jair Bolsonaro gets hand sanitizer from Health Minister Mandetta. Photo: Carolina Antunes/PR
Jair Bolsonaro gets some hand sanitizer from Health Minister Mandetta. Photo: Carolina Antunes/PR

Speaking at a press conference alongside fellow cabinet members, Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta stressed that full Covid-19 social isolation measures must continue, and any future changes will be based on scientific evidence, thus refuting President Jair Bolsonaro’s unproven proposal of isolating only risk groups and over 60s.

“If we do change the isolation measures, it won’t be by ignoring science, by ignoring academia,” Mr. Mandetta affirmed.

President Bolsonaro’s inclination to loosen isolation policies was further undermined by another of his cabinet members, as Justice Minister Sergio Moro admitted the country’s prisoners are protected against the virus due to their situation of full isolation. Mr. Moro confirmed that there are no confirmed Covid-19 cases within Brazilian penitentiaries, and that prison guards will be contemplated by the Health Ministry’s flu vaccination campaign.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mandetta announced that his department is launching a big data initiative this evening, involving telephoning households around the country to survey the population on the Covid-19. The Health Minister explained that this database will allow the government to analyze how the virus is spreading, and which regions are so-called “hot spots” which require further attention. 

“Don’t be frightened if you get a call from us,” joked Mr. Mandetta.