Brazilian authorities have announced that some economic activity will be permitted to resume in Sao Paulo from Monday, June 1, including the reopening of shopping malls, despite the state still recording a high number of daily coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. Stores, offices, car dealerships, and real estate brokerages will also be allowed to reopen as long as social distance is maintained and masks are worn. The relaxation of restrictions comes despite the country having recorded a daily death toll of more than 1000 people on five days in the past week. However, Governor João Doria did state that stay-at-home recommendations will remain in effect until June 15 for the state.
Brazil's federal government issued a decree on Friday, May 22, extending the closure of sea, air, and land borders by at least 30 days, through Sunday, June 21. The border closure does not apply to Brazilian citizens and permanent residents, foreign employees of international organizations or the Brazilian government, travelers in transit, and foreigners who have a Brazilian spouse, partner, or child. Land borders remain closed with exemptions for trucks carrying essential goods and people on humanitarian missions who have a permit. It is also mandatory to wear masks in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and Brasília in essential commercial establishments, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as on public transport.
As of Monday, June 1, authorities have confirmed 514,849 cases of COVID-19 and 29,314 associated deaths in Brazil. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
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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