Amid the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, mayor of Brazil’s biggest city, Sao Paulo, reportedly warned that the health system could collapse very soon if residents continue to adhere to social isolation guidelines. While speaking to an international media outlet, Bruno Covas said that the city is coming to the limit of options. He also warned that the ICU beds are at 90 per cent occupancy already.
While the deadly coronavirus is spreading across the country rapidly, Covas reportedly said that the citizens need to decide if they want to ‘test the limits’ or if they will be prudent and firmly maintain social isolation for the time needed. He added that the health system is close to collapse as Sao Paulo is considered to be the epicentre of the pandemic in Brazil. According to reports, the city has more than 38,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, which is 16 per cent of the total cases in the country.
Covas also noted that when the city and the state declared lockdown in March, more than 60 per cent of residents sheltered at home and the spread of the virus slowed. However, in the last couple of weeks, the percentage of the residents respecting the quarantine has reportedly fallen below half and the number of confirmed cases have started to rise. With citizens not adhering to the isolation rules, Covas said that Sao Paulo’s health system is on the brink of collapse.
Meanwhile, last week, in terms of infections, Brazil surpassed Italy and France. However, President Jair Bolsonaro opposed the lockdown measures and warned that stringent social isolation measures would turn Brazil into a poor country with no money left to pay the public sector workers. As per reports, Bolsonaro has been opposing the lockdown and had claimed that more people would die out of poverty than the virus.
Currently, Brazil has more than 241,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and the virus has claimed nearly 16,122 lives in the country. Even with the soaring numbers, Bolsonaro announced gyms and salons as essential services and further expanded the list of business allowed during the pandemic. The Brazilian President has been adamant about opening the businesses and has also claimed that the local governments have gone overboard in physical distancing measures to contain the virus spread. He further also insisted on relaxing the lockdown rules in the country.