São Paulo governor: lockdown plan ready, but won’t happen yet

são paulo lockdown
Anti-quarantine protest in São Paulo on May 17. Photo: Roberto Parizotti/FP

The state of São Paulo has already prepared a protocol for a full-scale lockdown, though it will only be deployed if social isolation measures fail to rise to 55 percent, said Governor João Doria in an interview with CBN radio this morning. Mr. Doria’s remarks come after São Paulo Mayor Bruno Covas said the city had already exhausted its options to increase social isolation rates, while 90 percent of intensive care units are filled. 

On May 18, City Hall officially scrapped its changes to vehicle restriction rules which proved to be ineffective and faced severe backlash. Now, the Covas administration sent a bill to the City Council to bring forward 2020’s public holidays as a last resort to keep people at home.

Even with social isolation levels hovering around 50 percent in both the state and the capital — way below the 70-percent target — Governor Doria said the measures helped to avoid the number of deaths in the state to be roughly ten times bigger, at 45,000. 

According to official data, the city had registered 2,832 confirmed casualties by May 17, while the state had 4,782 deaths — or 30 percent of all casualties in Brazil. However, As we’ve reported on May 16, a study points out that underreporting levels in the city may reach 91 percent of the cases.