The Amazonian state of Pará, in the north of Brazil, began total confinement on Thursday in ten of its municipalities in order to contain the advance of the coronavirus pandemic, but the transit of people remained intense in some peripheral regions of the capital, Belém, despite the restrictions.
Pará became the first state in the Amazon to enact the "lockdown", which will be valid for a period of ten days in the capital of Pará, Belém, as well as the other six municipalities in its metropolitan region and three others in the interior of the state.
These are the ten cities in the state most hit by the pandemic, with rates of more than 75 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants, an average higher than the regional average (51 cases per 100,000).
Until this Wednesday, Pará registered 5,017 people infected by the pathogen and 392 deaths, out of a total of 125,218 cases and 8,536 confirmed deaths in Brazil, according to the latest official balance of the country's health authorities.
According to the government of the state of Pará, the lockdown requires the "total suspension" of all non-essential services and limits the movement of people, but hundreds of Brazilians defied the restrictions at different points in Belém, according to Efe.
Open-air markets were packed Thursday, as were bank entrances, despite police attempts to slow the flow of bystanders.
Until next Sunday (May 10), "the inspection actions will be carried out to raise awareness and guidance on the importance of social isolation," regional authorities explained in a statement.
However, as of this date, non-compliance with the rules will be subject to penalties of 150 reais for individuals (about $ 27) and 50,000 reais for legal entities (about $ 8,772).
STRENGTHENING OF RESTRICTIONS IN OTHER STATES
Pará is the second state in the country to take this extreme measure, behind the state of Maranhao (northeast), which adopted total confinement after a judicial decision.
In the next few days, it is expected that total confinement will also be adopted in some neighborhoods of Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, in the northeast, one of the regions in which the pandemic has advanced the most in this country of 210 million inhabitants.
In addition, the possibility of applying rigorous measures in cities in the state of Pernambuco, also in the northeast, and in Rio de Janeiro, which is on the verge of a hospital collapse, is being studied.
The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the largest medical research center in Latin America, sent the Rio de Janeiro regional government a statement in defense of more rigid isolation measures because, according to the foundation, the late adoption of the lockdown "would be a catastrophe human of unimaginable proportions for a country with the dimension of Brazil. "
In this sense, the Brazilian Health Minister, Nelson Teich, also spoke, admitting to understand the "need" that in some cities it is necessary to apply measures of total confinement, in contradiction to the immediate return to work that the country's president openly defends. , Jair Blsonaro.
Of the entire country, the region most affected by COVID-19 continues to be the state of Sao Paulo, with some 46 million inhabitants, which has already exceeded 37,850 cases and 3,045 deaths due to the pandemic.
Sao Paulo sought to make social isolation measures more flexible as of May 11, but admitted that it may back down due to the acceleration of the curve in the richest and most populous region of the country.
In the state, the obligation to wear masks on the streets of all its municipalities came into force on Thursday, while in the São Paulo capital, the movement of cars will be limited starting next week through a restrictive rotation system.