Brazil declares coronavirus public health emergency

Brazil on Monday declared a public health emergency for the coronavirus in order to facilitate the repatriation of 40 Brazilians in the Chinese province of Wuhan, the Ministry of Health said.

Brazil announced on Sunday that it will bring 40 of the 55 Brazilians who are in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus, and who asked the government for help to return to the country, where they must be subjected to a quarantine period for 18 days.

At first, the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, opposed repatriating the group of Brazilians in Wuhan, considering that millions of citizens could be put at risk, but he changed his mind this weekend after an order public.

In a video published on social networks, several Brazilians read a letter in which they emphasized that none is infected with the so-called Wuhan pneumonia, recalled that other countries have already repatriated their citizens and expressed their willingness to follow the health requirements that are necessary in order to return to the country.

"We wrote this letter to ask the Brazilian Government for help to return to our country. We are men, women and children from various states and regions of Brazil, students and workers, individuals and relatives of Brazilians in China," said the letter.

According to the Minister of the Civil House, Onyx Lorenzoni, they could spend the quarantine in Anápolis (center-west), Florianópolis (south) or some city in northeastern Brazil, although the exact place has not yet been defined.

In Brazil there are 16 suspected cases of coronavirus, half of them in the state of Sao Paulo, but so far none of them have been confirmed, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Health.

The holder of the portfolio, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, said Monday that the coronavirus is not being transmitted with "the speed imagined" and said that dengue, measles or yellow fever may pose a greater risk.


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