Coronavirus

Brazilian capital further reopening against all advice

Brasília Governor Ibaneis Rocha greenlit the total reopening of commerce in the federal capital today — including schools and universities.
Photo: Paulo H. Carvalho/Agência Brasília

Brasília Governor Ibaneis Rocha greenlit the total reopening of commerce in the federal capital today — including schools and universities. Mr. Rocha, who was the first state administrator to impose social restriction norms — as early as March 11, when the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic — has now changed tack.

The only restrictions still in place are on daycare centers and public events — except those taking place in parking lots in the form of a drive-thru.

Mr. Rocha’s move is particularly puzzling as it comes one day after Brasília registered a record number of coronavirus deaths over a 24-hour span, with 33 new casualties. The Brazilian capital has registered 620 deaths and nearly 50,700 infections so far.

The reopening schedule in Brasília is as follows:

  • Gyms, beauty parlors: July 7
  • Bars and restaurants: July 15
  • Private schools and universities: July 27
  • Public schools and universities: August 3

Backlash after rushed reopenings

At the beginning of the pandemic, state governors stood as apparent ‘voices of reason,’ listening to experts and enacting restrictive measures. Now, as the economic crisis has eroded support for quarantines, most are reopening their constituencies’ economies. The effects have been felt swiftly.

We showed in our Daily Briefing today that, in 13 state capitals, occupancy rates of intensive care units are over 80 percent. In Natal, the capital of northeastern state Rio Grande do Norte, occupancy is at 100 percent. While these numbers fluctuate significantly, the trends are neither inspiring nor surprising.

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