Bruno Covas, the mayor of the city of Sao Paolo, in Brazil, has declared that hospitals in the city are nearing their full capacity. At 90 percent occupancy, the city’s hospitals could actually be completely overwhelmed within the next two weeks. According to him, way too many residents fail to follow the social distancing rules implemented within the city of Sao Paolo and he pleaded with the citizens to adhere to them. The mayor also mentioned, in an interview with the news agency BBC, that one finds it hard to believe that Sao Paolo residents actually prefer to play a game of Russian roulette with the pandemic.
The state of Sao Paolo imposed quarantine almost two months ago. They have closed schools, businesses and public spaces. Most citizens, however, have disregarded the rules that came with the quarantine. No fines or criminal penalties were put into place for those who violated the quarantine’s rules. A rule of wearing masks was also imposed, but it largely went ignored by the state’s residents.
On the other hand, the state of Amazonas had approximately 20,300 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as of the end of this week. This has completely overwhelmed the state’s health care system in the capital city of Manaus. Officials were thus forced to bury the bodies of the deceased in mass graves. Rio de Janeiro, the city with the second-highest death toll after the city of Sao Paolo, has also mentioned that its beds in intensive care are soon going to reaching their full capacity.
The country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, is vehemently opposed to the implementation of national lockdown measures. In a speech he made to governors and mayors back in April, he argued that the lives of the Brazilian people must proceed in spite of the virus.
This article was originally published on The Hill.