Top NewsWorld News

Brazil lockdowns, attacked by Bolsonaro, begin to slip

imageWorld8 hours ago (Apr 09, 2020 02:10PM ET)

(C) Reuters. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro looks on while meeting supporters as he leaves Alvorada Palace, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brasilia

By Gabriela Mello and Rodrigo Viga Gaier

SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Lockdowns in Brazil’s largest cities to slow the coronavirus outbreak are beginning to slip, according to new data this week seen and analyzed by Reuters, with more people leaving their homes as President Jair Bolsonaro continues to criticize the measures.

State governments in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have expressed growing concern as their social isolation orders lose effectiveness, even as the outbreak spreads to nearly 16,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 800 deaths.

Cellular phone data, public transportation figures and interviews with taxi drivers in Rio and Sao Paulo point to rising traffic and footfall in Brazil’s two largest cities.

Mayors and governors trying to keep Brazilians indoors have struggled against Bolsonaro’s repeated attacks on the social distancing measures, which he described as “poison” that could kill more through economic hardship than the virus itself.

In Sao Paulo state, Brazil’s most populous and home to Latin America’s largest city, anonymous cellular data gathered by the local government and passed to Reuters on Wednesday showed the number of people considered to be in “social isolation” reached its lowest point this week since the lockdown began on March 24.

“Social isolation fell significantly in the past two to three days and that makes our challenge harder,” Patricia Ellen, state secretary for economic development, told Reuters. “We are concerned.”

On Wednesday, 49% of Sao Paulo residents were considered to be in “social isolation,” compared to a weekday-peak of 56% on March 30, according to a government analysis of cellular data collected from phone operators. The all-time peaks were on Sundays, when 59% remained in isolation.

Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria told reporters on Thursday that the state was targeting a 70% rate of compliance, which he said science showed was necessary for it to be properly effective.

In the city of Sao Paulo, the number of passengers using public buses increased by 28% on Monday compared to the same day a week earlier, according to official figures.

This week in Rio, the metro reported the highest weekday passenger numbers for a Monday and Tuesday since the lockdown there began on March 23. Trains and buses also saw an increase in ridership.

Luciano Ventura de Jesus, a 58-year-old taxi driver in Sao Paulo, said he has seen a jump in demand from passengers since last week.

He is now doing seven or eight trips per day, up from just two or three last week. On a normal day, before lockdown, he said he was doing 12 to 15 trips.

“People are becoming a bit more relaxed (about the lockdown),” he said.

(This story corrects Doria to governor, not mayor)

Brazil lockdowns, attacked by Bolsonaro, begin to slip

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable.Stay informed and entertained, for free.Subscribe to our newsletter

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!