Manaus mayor calls for lockdown against new Covid-19 peak

manaus amazon covid

Arthur Virgílio Neto, the mayor of the northern Brazilian city of Manaus, has proposed a new two-week lockdown after Covid-19 cases have seen significant increases. Between September 24 and 28, Manaus health authorities registered 1,627 confirmed coronavirus cases, 30 percent more than the 1,255 seen in the same period in August. 

During an interview with TV news station Globo News, Mr. Virgílio Neto said that his suggestion is based on recommendations from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation medical research institute and that his government intends to “save lives.”

Mr. Virgilio Neto butted heads with President Jair Bolsonaro earlier this year, while Manaus was facing a full-blown Covid-19 health collapse. The president’s economy-first stance during the pandemic led the Mayor of Manaus to label him an “indirect murderer.” 

The mayor’s statement comes five days after a state decree banning the functioning of bars and nightclubs in the state capital. At least 22 businesses were shut down and another 15 were issued warnings. City hall also closed Ponta Negra beach due to an increase in public gatherings. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the northern state of Amazonas has recorded 4,031 Covid-19 deaths and 136,708 confirmed cases. In April, The Brazilian Report showed how Manaus became Brazil’s own Covid-19 epicenter, and local authorities are attempting to avoid a repeat.

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