One-third of anti-pandemic troops infected with coronavirus

defense ministry troops coronavirus
Operation Covid-19. Photo: Defense Ministry

Four months ago, Brazil’s Defense Ministry launched Operation Covid-19, encompassing a series of actions by the Army, Navy, and Air Force — such as bringing home Brazilian nationals stranded abroad, transporting health workers and equipment, decontaminating public venues, producing personal protective equipment (and, yes, hydroxychloroquine …), and patrolling borders and indigenous lands.

A total of 34,000 officers were involved in the operation — of which 10,517 have since contracted the coronavirus. Until July 19, 23 have died of Covid-19.

According to the Defense Ministry, the men and women deployed for efforts to fight the pandemic surpasses the number of troops Brazil sent to World War II. The Brazilian Expeditionary Force had just over 25,000 men who fought in Northern Italy between 1944 and 1945 — 454 of them died during the war.

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