The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is declared in emergency by COVID-19

The authorities of Minas Gerais, one of the most populated regions of Brazil, declared themselves in an "emergency situation" this Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic, despite the fact that in that state so far there have been two cases, with no deaths.

The decree establishing the "emergency situation", however, allows the regional government to adopt some administrative and social measures without fully obeying the rules that govern the cumbersome Brazilian bureaucracy.

In this way, the authorities are authorized to acquire the medicines, medical equipment and materials they deem necessary to face the pandemic without the need to call for public competitions, as required by law in normal situations.

Likewise, the decree published this Friday authorizes the authorities, as the case may be, to compel people who present the symptoms of COVID-19 to undergo examinations, among other measures aimed at reinforcing prevention.

The state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeast region of the country, is, with about 20 million inhabitants, the third most populous in Brazil, behind Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

So far, according to official lists, only two of the 151 confirmed cases of the disease found in all of Brazil have been registered in Minas Gerais, an incidence that is currently minimal for a country with about 220 million inhabitants.

In addition, there are close to a thousand suspected cases and a similar number has already been ruled out.

Among the latter, who were considered suspects, is the Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, who announced this Friday that tests he underwent after returning from an official trip to Miami have given negative results.

Bolsonaro decided to undergo analysis after the Presidency's press chief, Fabio Wajngarten, who was part of the delegation that traveled to Miami, tested positive for coronavirus once he returned to Brazil in the same plane as the official delegation.


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