Between March 21 and April 7, the Military Police of São Paulo responded to a daily average of 1,100 complaints related to non-essential businesses that opened their doors during the state government-imposed social isolation measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The figures were published by newspaper Folha de S.Paulo.
During this period, another 1,809 Covid-19-related complaints were made to the police, including arrests related to the pandemic, the sale of counterfeit hand sanitizer, or the theft of material used to fight the public health emergency. As of today, social isolation controls have been adhered to by 50 percent of the state’s population. The government’s target, however, is 70 percent.
In an interview with radio station Eldorado, São Paulo Governor João Doria stated that the tightening of social isolation rules and the use of force to keep people in their homes would be a measure of last resort. Mr. Doria also reported that municipal governments around the state are imposing fines on merchants who are opening illegally.
“As governor, I would not like to have to declare that we have to arrest people for the fact that they are gathering in public,” said João Doria.