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19 Apr 2020 | 02:28 PM UTC

Brazil: Hundreds gather in major cities nationwide to denounce COVID-19 lockdown measures April 18 /update 12

Brazil News Alert

Hundreds of protesters gather in major cities nationwide to protest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown measures on April 18; further associated demonstrations likely over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/19/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/23/2020, 11:59 PM (America/Sao_Paulo). COUNTRY/REGION Brazil

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On Saturday, April 18, hundreds of protesters gathered in major cities, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Brasilia, calling for state governors to resign and denouncing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown measures, which have suspended business operations for several weeks. In Rio de Janeiro, approximately 100 vehicles took part in the demonstration, causing gridlock and temporarily closing Copacabana beach.

To date, Brazil has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Latin America, with 36,925 confirmed cases and 2372 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.  

As of Sunday, April 19, all of Brazil's land borders remain closed, with an exemption for trucks carrying essential goods, people on humanitarian missions, and returning citizens.

On Friday, March 27, Brazilian authorities introduced a 30-day ban for all foreign visitors from Monday, March 30. The restrictions will not apply to foreign spouses, parents, and children of a Brazilian nationals, as well as foreign residents of Brazil and transiting travelers.

Most commercial flights at Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport (GIG) remain suspended until Thursday, April 30. During this period, GIG will only operate six daily flights by GOL Airlines to and from Rio de Janeiro and Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) in São Paulo.

Several states have implemented restrictions for their residents in efforts to control the outbreak. São Paulo state has asked nonessential businesses to close and residents to remain at home when possible, although it has not required the restriction of movement outright. Essential services, such as hospitals, dental clinics, supermarkets, bakeries, banks, and public transport will continue to operate.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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