Society

Belo Horizonte set the pandemic bar high for the rest of Brazil

Findings from Imperial College London show that, if Brazil's other major cities had followed Belo Horizonte's lead during the pandemic, the country could have avoided over half of its Covid-19 deaths

tiradentes belo horizonte pandemic
Belo Horizonte’s traditional Tiradentes statue wearing scrubs and a face mask. Photo: Rodney Costa/AltaPhoto/Folhapress

The city of Belo Horizonte is known as Brazil’s bar capital, with an average of one drinking establishment for every 170 inhabitants. Bar culture is an important part of living in the country’s sixth-largest city, with seemingly every street having its own drinking hole, serving up beer and cachaça alongside plentiful portions of freshly prepared bar snacks. But the residents of Belo Horizonte have had to wait for one year and eight months to once again enjoy a happy hour at their local bar.

Bars have been closed in Belo Horizonte since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, in March...

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