As some cities reopen, others go on lockdown

Ipiranga Avenue, São Paulo. Photo Djalma Vassão/FotosPublicas

The state of São Paulo is set to start a process of “gradual and controlled” economic reopening as of next week, but some parts of the state may have to wait. São Paulo’s government plans on classifying cities as low-, medium-, and high-risk, with those in the latter group remaining closed — with full-scale lockdowns not out of the question. According to Regional Development Secretary Marco Vinholi, the outskirts of the city of São Paulo, in addition to the cities of Campinas and Santos, will remain in isolation as other parts of the state begin reopening.

The secretary also pointed out that quarantine rules were only loosened in countries such as the U.S. and New Zealand after the number of confirmed cases fell for at least two weeks. In São Paulo, however, the virus is growing statewide. Mr. Vinholi added that despite this spread, social isolation has had a positive impact in the state: “On March 22, São Paulo was responsible for 67 percent of the country’s cases. Today, it accounts for less than 35 percent.”

Rio de Janeiro

In Rio, Mayor Marcelo Crivella announced that lower-income neighborhood Campo Grande — which leads the number of Covid-19 deaths — will be put on partial lockdown for at least a week. Only essential workers will be allowed on the streets, as well as those who can prove they need to shop for groceries. This week, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation urged Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel to implement a lockdown in the entire state.

ICUs at full capacity in many cities

Pernambuco, Ceará, Roraima, and Rio de Janeiro are the four Brazilian states with over 90 percent of their intensive care units occupied. In São Paulo, ICUs are 69 percent full. In response, scientists have urged the implementation of full lockdowns in several states.