Brazil’s epidemic among top 200,000 people returns for fun

SAO PAULO (AP) – Before New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro, at night thousands of revelers crowd into the iconic Ipanema beach in their bathing suits and drink some saltwater. It was one of several open-air parties that have been taking place along Brazil’s vast coastline since the beginning of summer, and the toll on COVID-19’s death climbed higher.

“It was so packed, you couldn’t set foot on the beach,” said a maintenance worker in a luxury apartment building across the street. “And it wasn’t just at night; The beach was also packed during the day. And nobody wears a mask! “He will be punished for speaking to a reporter, insisting that the owner of the building not go by the name of exit,” he said.

According to data released by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the festive explosion came ahead of an epidemic: 200,000 deaths occurred in Brazil on Thursday, from 200,498 to 1,524 epidemics in the last 24 hours. According to the Johns Hopkins University database, it is the world’s second-largest fatality behind the United States.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside Brazil’s presidential palace on Friday, blaming President Jair Bolsonaro for a ground spot. He also hinted at urging the Congress to remove him from the post.

Many Brazilians have been under stress against quarantine for months, going to bars or small gatherings with friends, but there were massive explosions since the epidemic began. The festivities began as the Southern Hemisphere summer began on 21 December.

While many countries imposed new restrictions in mid-December to limit the spread of the virus, the Bolsonaro administration offered its blessing for sunshine holiday fun. Tourism Minister Gilson Machado told radio station Jovm Pan that a crowd of 300 people was completely acceptable. The decision to ban is the prerogative of local governments; Some people who did so ignored their rules.

A prominent YouTuber organized a party for hundreds of people in the state of Alagoas, in the northeastern region of the country, near a riverbank. Days later, local media reported that 47 people contracted COVID-19 among unlicensed guests and employees. At least two were admitted to intensive care units.

Outside Rio, 150 people were involved in the five-day New Year celebrations near the property owned by football star Neymar, although he denied any connection with the VIP event.

Outside Sao Paolo, Bolsonaro kicked off a boat in 2021 while swimming towards a throne of unmerciful, enthusiastic supporters.

And police in the city of Bertioga, off the coast of São Paulo, used tear gas to celebrate at the start of New Year’s Day.

“Just before the parties, the situation was already getting worse. But this week or the next day, it will get worse, ”Domingos Alves, an assistant professor of social medicine at the University of São Paulo, told the Associated Press this week.

Alves, who led a team of researchers tracking COVID-19 data, warned that the daily confirmed cases of several states seen during Brazil’s summit in July had already outnumbered the numbers.

Intensive care units in many cities were once again slammed with COVID-19 patients. The mayor of Manaus, the Amazonas state capital – which a local study has speculated could herd reach immunity after its brutal first wave – declared a 180-day state of emergency on Tuesday and suspended all permits for the incidents. State officials prohibited all non-active activities in most parts of the city for 15 days.

The city of 2.2 million has recorded 3,550 deaths since the onset of the epidemic, and the number of COVID-19 burials has increased. Outside at least one cemetery, cars were filled with people waiting to bury their loved ones.

Wanda Ortega, a volunteer nurse from the Manaus community of indigenous nations, reported that the AP first adopted a hand-in-hand approach against the virus, with large rallies and long queues of voters during the local elections held in November for the first time in the city.

“Then we had a holiday season, with lots of secret parties,” said Otega, who belongs to the Vitotto ethnicity. “We live in an area where rich people have cabins. They have parties every week. “

Many mayors off the coast of São Paulo ignored the holiday restrictions imposed by their governor. In at least 12 cities, mayors kept stores, hotels and beaches open to tourists.

Images of traffic jams and packed beaches, largely congested, were so panicked that EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni expressed disbelief on Twitter, saying, “I saw embarrassing images from Brazil.”

Bolsonaro, who despite being ill with the virus himself, has consistently argued that the country is at greater risk of economic loss of lockdown than the epidemic. He indicated with his New Year swimming that he would continue to ignore the protective measures observed in most countries.

“I dive with a mask, so I won’t be able to catch COVID from small fish,” he joked outside the presidential palace a few days later.

After Brazil crossed the death toll of 200,000 people, Bolsonaro said in a live broadcast on his social media channels Thursday that he was sorry that those couple were lost, “but life goes on.”

The Brazilian president said, “There is no use to keep the old story of home and economy in mind.” “It will not work, it will be chaos in Brazil. It can produce even more dramatic results than the virus.”

Even some Brazilians who consider themselves cautious are lowering their guard. Football fan Ricardo Santos, 46, says he covers his face every time he goes out, puts hand sanitizers in his bag and watches the social distance. But on Wednesday, he and a dozen fans of Palmiras hit a bar to see his team in the city of São Paulo.

“I spent the new year with only two friends who live in the same building. I use caution. But sometimes you have to accept a little risk to maintain your mental health.

On Rio’s Ipanema Beach, 57 years old, João Batista Baria said he blamed the authorities for not protecting their poorest residents.

“Everyone is talking about these beach parties, but the crowd is also on the bus,” Baria said. “People come to the beach because they choose. I have to take a bus to go to work.”


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