Helder Barbalho, governor of the Amazonian state of Pará, announced he will lift the lockdown order on state capital Belém and nine neighboring cities. The order has been enforced since May 7 in order to curb the spread of Covid-19. Mr. Barbalho, however, says the Greater Belém Area will not “swing from lockdown directly to normality,” promising a gradual reopening process instead. “It is technically proven that the curve has been flattening and the number of deaths, thank God, has dropped,” said the governor in a video shared on Twitter.
O retorno após o fim do lockdown deve ser responsável e gradativo. Por isso, reuni com universidades e nossa equipe de governo para definir medidas que, a partir de segunda-feira, deverão ser tomadas para preservar a saúde e a vida das pessoas. pic.twitter.com/blC7IobrU3— Helder Barbalho (@helderbarbalho) May 23, 2020
The numbers, however, seem to contradict Mr. Barbalho’s. Pará’s infection curve continues to climb, despite the lockdown. According to the Health Ministry’s latest coronavirus update, Pará had recorded 21,469 confirmed cases as of May 22. It has the seventh-highest contagion rate per 100,000 inhabitants (229.64) in Brazil, and the third-highest Covid-19 death rate per 100,000 people (21.5 in).
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