How states will try to curb coronavirus spread over Easter holidays

How states will try to curb coronavirus spread during Easter holiday
Store in Apucarana, Paraná: the state allowed non-essential businesses to reopen. Photo: Jair Ferreira Belafacce/Shutterstock

Multiple Brazilian states, including Rio de Janeiro and Paraíba, have decided to bring forward a series of public holidays this week to keep people at home and control the spread of the coronavirus. Confirmed Covid-19 deaths in March obliterated previous records, with almost 67,000 registered fatalities over the last 31 days.

Still, half of Brazilian states have allowed non-essential businesses to operate during the Easter holiday, much to the chagrin of health experts. 

In federal capital Brasília — where waiting lists for intensive care beds are over 200 people long — Governor Ibaneis Rocha opted to reopen stores and hold multiple sporting events.

As established by the Supreme Court, municipalities can enact stricter rules if they want. Places such as Greater São Paulo and Campo Grande — the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul state — are examples of municipalities which created ten-day “mega-holidays” to boost isolation rates. 

In São Paulo, at least, the results have not been as expected. Official data shows that isolation rates have gone no higher than 51 percent during the week. A mix of pandemic fatigue and economic anxieties has forced people out of their homes.