Military service becomes Covid-19 spreading hub

Military service becomes Covid-19 spreading hub in Brazil
Army recruit during Independence Day parade (Rio de Janeiro). Photo: Celso Pupo/Shutterstock

A report by newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reveals an outbreak of infections in army headquarters in São Paulo, as the Armed Forces proceeded with mandatory military service during the pandemic. 

Almost 20 percent of the 807 RT-PCR tests applied to both instructors and trainees until September 10 came back positive for SARS-CoV-2. Despite the outbreaks, practices such as shooting classes continued all over the state and — according to the report — without social distancing. 

The newspaper also claims that its questions were only partially answered by the Brazilian Army. The organization failed to inform the total number of military service training participants in the state, or the number of instructors. Therefore, it is not possible to establish the exact Covid-19 prevalence in all people involved in military service, only in the amount of tests performed. 

Asked by the newspaper, the army said it follows all safety recommendations, providing online classes for theoretical training, hand sanitizers, masks, and changes to routines to allow for more social distancing.  The military command also said they are training recruits in specifics related to Covid-19, such as the use of PPE equipment. 

Further requests were denied for being considered “vague.”

Support this coverage →Support this coverage →