São Paulo Secretary: “We could face social unrest”

Anti-quarantine motorcade in São Paulo. Photo: Allan White/FP
Anti-quarantine motorcade in São Paulo. Photo: Allan White/FP

In an interview with newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo, São Paulo State Economic Development Secretary Patricia Ellen said the government’s main priority should be protecting vulnerable citizens. “Emergency help needs to arrive and it needs to get here now,” she said. “We risk facing social unrest — with or without quarantine measures. The help is getting here in dribs and drabs. It has to be faster.”

To carry out a statewide economic reopening, the secretary indicated that the São Paulo government has integrated health, economic, and social data to provide a more dynamic and comprehensive response. “There is no ‘going back to normal’ in places hit by Covid-19,” Ms. Ellen said. “But we are working together to understand how we will live alongside the pandemic in the medium-run.”

Ms. Ellen also noted that her office has avoided taking “precipitated and random” decisions regarding the reopening. As a heterogeneous state, she said, the monitoring has to be regionalized. Last week, the secretary noted that the economic reopening in the state of São Paulo would have to be “regional and controlled, regionalized, and sectorial.”