São Paulo extends emergency phase until April 11

São Paulo emergency phase: 11 more days. Photo: Ettore Chiereguini/Shutterstock
São Paulo’s emergency phase: 11 more days. Photo: Ettore Chiereguini/Shutterstock

The state government of São Paulo announced on Friday that its so-called “emergency phase” — which entails the tightest restriction rules enacted so far — will remain in force until at least April 11.

The emergency phase was scheduled to last until March 30, but Lieutenant Governor Rodrigo Garcia said the decision is based on the “persistence of the pandemic.”

On Friday, health officials in the state tallied 1,193 deaths over the past 24 hours — a new record. That represents an average of one death every 70 seconds. With those figures, experts believe today’s nationwide count for new daily deaths should top the 3,000 mark once more.

During the emergency phase, schools will remain closed and restaurants can only operate on a delivery basis.

Between today and Easter Sunday, the city of São Paulo will enter a 10-day period without a single business day. The move is a last-ditch effort by authorities to enhance levels of social isolation and curb the spread of the coronavirus.

When announcing the measure last week, São Paulo Mayor Bruno Covas said a full lockdown is unfeasible in a city with over 12 million people, as the municipal guard has only roughly 1,000 men and women.