São Paulo: Hospital admissions rise, but elections keep authorities from tightening isolation

São Paulo
Avenida Paulista, the heart of São Paulo. Photo: Roberto Parizotti/FP

In a press conference on Monday afternoon, state government authorities in São Paulo reported an 18-percent increase in Covid-19-related hospitalizations in the week of November 8 to 14. Despite this, the government decided not to reassess São Paulo’s program for quarantines and restrictive measures, citing a data issue earlier in the month.

Problems with the Health Ministry’s system for tabulating Covid-19 cases and deaths affected the official counts for the state of São Paulo, and these figures are used to monitor the progress of the pandemic and decide on loosening or tightening isolation measures.

State health secretary Jean Gorinchteyn confirmed that São Paulo’s coronavirus quarantine plan will be reassessed on November 30. “If the figures remain elevated, we will definitely have more austere and restrictive measures to continue to protect lives,” he said.

Currently, Greater São Paulo and five other regions in the state are in the “Green Phase” of São Paulo’s reopening plan, allowing a wide range of non-essential services to operate with reduced hours and capacity. At the end of the month, the state capital could be pushed back to the “yellow” or “orange” phases of the program, thus enforcing more restrictions on commerce and the population.

Last week, doctors from 15 private hospitals in Brazil’s biggest cities reported a significant uptick in coronavirus-related admissions.

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