Brazil lockdowns, attacked by Bolsonaro, begin to slip
Lockdowns in Brazil’s largest cities to slow the coronavirus outbreak is beginning to slip, according to new data this week seen and analyzed by Reuters, with more people leaving their homes as President Jair Bolsonaro continues to criticize the measures.
State governments in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have expressed growing concern as their social isolation orders lose effectiveness, even as the outbreak spreads to nearly 16,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 800 deaths. Cellular phone data, public transportation figures and interviews with taxi drivers in Rio and Sao Paulo point to rising traffic and footfall in Brazil’s two largest cities.
Mayors and governors trying to keep Brazilians indoors have struggled against Bolsonaro’s repeated attacks on the social distancing measures, which he described as “poison” that could kill more through economic hardship than the virus itself. In Sao Paulo state, Brazil’s most populous and home to Latin America’s largest city, anonymous cellular data gathered by the local government and passed to Reuters on Wednesday showed the number of people considered to be in “social isolation” reached its lowest point this week since the lockdown began on March 24. 9 April 2020