Tag Archives: lockdown

Brazilians in Australia fear returning to a country where the spread of COVID-19 remains out of control | Instant News

“People are in the hallways, on the floor without beds, without masks,” said Ary Neto, explaining what happened to the hospital in his hometown in Brazil, which is still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Neto lives in Melbourne – nearly 15,000 kilometers away from his family who are based near the city of Manaus, in Brazil’s Amazon region.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, he has lost three close family members, including his 60-year-old mother, Rosemay Oran Barros Ribeiro.

He tested positive for COVID-19 on Christmas Eve and died a week later.

While Mr Neto, who works as a chef, wants to come home to be with his family, his aunt convinces him to stay in Australia because Brazilian hospitals are overwhelmed.

Intensive care unit beds are operating at capacities above 90 percent across the country, and a shortage of graves is fast approaching.

Several old plots have been excavated for fresh graves and Brazil’s largest city, São Paolo, said he would start opening around 600 plots per day.

“It’s very difficult to talk about,” said Neto.

“Mum is still very young, she can live longer.

“When he died, [I] couldn’t do anything … they put my mother’s body in a plastic bag and then she went from the hospital to a certain place where they put the corpse. [infected] with COVID-19. “

Brazil, one of the few countries that remains open to international travel, now accounts for about a quarter of the world’s daily coronavirus deaths.

There are now nearly 341,000 total COVID-19-related deaths counted in Brazil, which ranks second out of the total deaths in the United States of 559,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

With more than 4,000 deaths in a single day last week, and deaths steadily increasing since February, some doctors predict Brazil will soon exceed the death toll recorded in the US.

And while the US has continued to reduce the number of deaths since mid-January by stepping up vaccination efforts, a COVID-19 vaccine is scarce in Brazil.


That, together with longstanding socio-economic inequalities and misinformation voiced by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has created the perfect storm for a new, more transmissible variant of the coronavirus discovered by virologists in Manaus in December it spreads non-stop.

Research from several medical journal articles have found that the Brazilian P.1 variant is twice as contagious than the original COVID-19 strain, with a higher likelihood of reinfection.

That leads to a recent spike in the number of cases, especially among young people.

A Brazilian politician, and one of Bolsonaro’s political opponents, Guilherme Boulos, tweeted the shocking death tally saying, “Brazil has become a grave”.

‘Worse day by day’

Rows of hospital beds in the gym
The gym has been turned into a makeshift hospital to cover the number of patients.(

ABC News: Luiz Rampazzo


Nina Freitas, a Brazilian student studying hotel management in Melbourne, fears the worst for her family in her hometown of São Paolo.

Her father, a doctor, worked at the hospital before the situation worsened, and now chooses to stay home because of her age and health problems.

He also worries about how the current political leadership has affected people back home.

A woman in a green jacket sits on the seashore smiling
Nina Freitas is separated from her family who lives in Brazil’s most populous city.(



Paul Bernasconi, an Australian married to a Brazilian man, splits his time between the US and the coastal city of Guarujá, about an hour and a half drive south from São Paulo.

“I think what happened is that [Brazilian government] dropping the ball in getting to the available medical units, so they’re way behind, “he said.

Mr Bernasconi said the handling of the pandemic in Brazil had been disorganized compared to his experience during the height of the New York outbreak, where local governors ordered relevant medical supplies and built emergency hospitals early.

A gray haired man wearing aviator glasses and a dark blue shirt, taking a selfie.
Paul Bernasconi and her husband have several family members with the disease in Brazil.(



While the medical system in Guarujá is not experiencing “chaotic chaos” like other cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Manaus, the virus is still close to home, he said.

“Personally, we have had several members of our own family who contracted the disease and unfortunately, my husband’s sister died last week,” she said.

“The saddest part of all this is that we have to remain isolated from our family members here so that we can’t even go through the normal grieving process together.”

Misinformation, mismanagement from above

Funeral workers unload the coffin from the back of a van amid a cemetery riddled with crosses in Brazil.
Manaus has been damaged by a virus.(

AP: Edmar Barros


Brazil’s universal health care system is free to anyone legally residing in the country, but its response to the pandemic has been largely political.

Bolsonaro has consistently opposed quarantine measures, arguing that the economic damage would be worse than the effects of the coronavirus itself.

He has told Brazilians to “stop whining” about pandemics and suggested the use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a cure.

Brazil’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has been slow too – so far only about 2 percent of Brazil’s 211 million people are vaccinated.

Drugmaker Pfizer said in a statement Bolsonaro had rejected an offer to buy 70 million vaccines by August 2020.

At the time, Bolsonaro said he would not be vaccinated and publicly joked that the Pzifer vaccine could “turn people into crocodiles”.

Mr Bolsonaro has also appointed four different health ministers since the pandemic began, including one that lasted less than a month.

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro takes part in anti-lockdown protests.

The health minister’s turnstiles are due in large part to disagreements with Bolsonaro over how best to deal with the virus.

The last one appointed, cardiologist Marcelo Queiroga, replaces General Eduardo Pazuello, a military officer without medical training who became unpopular with the public due to mismanagement of his health response to the pandemic.

Brazil has recently increased purchases of its vaccine supplies from Pzifer, AstraZeneca and Sinovac, despite previous opposition from Bolsonaro.

Preliminary research found Sinovac has so far proven to be 51 percent effective against the P.1 variant.

However, for many who have lost loved ones, disappointment and sadness remain.

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Doctors in Brazil are sounding the alarm as the country’s COVID crisis is getting out of hand.


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Brazil’s strongman and deadly variant of COVID-19 are the ‘perfect storm’ for the world’s coronavirus epicenter | Instant News

Even with the coronavirus surging across Brazil, Fabricio Silva Costa never thought he would catch COVID-19.

“Never, never, never,” he said.

“I’ve always thought of myself as very strong.”

Since the start of the pandemic, 13 million people in Brazil have contracted the coronavirus, but the 44-year-old insurance broker thinks he’s doing everything right.

“I did jiujitsu, but I took all precautions,” he told the ABC from his hospital bed.

“I stopped practicing to avoid contact, I worked from home, I stopped my social life.”

Then the father of three wives contracted the virus, but did not show many symptoms.

When Costa also caught COVID-19, he thought he could handle it.

He started self-medicating with azithromycin, an antibiotic. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said last year he was taking them at the same time. with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to cure the corona virus attack.

Not both the drug is shown to have a measurable impact on coronavirus infection.

Nor did it help Mr Costa and the insurance broker immediately find himself so weak that he thought he was going to die.

He was rushed to the Pedro Dell’Antonia field hospital, which was once a sports gym, on the outskirts of São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city.

The Pedro Dell’Antonia field hospital in Sao Paulo is operating at 85 percent capacity. (

ABC News: Luiz Rampazzo


“I was terrified,” he said.

“I don’t think so, but there are a lot of people who are sick. Many people are sick.”

Pedro Dell’Antonia is currently operating at 85 percent capacity, with 160 patients. All 20 ICU beds are full.

More younger COVID-19 patients are being hospitalized

This is a pattern across the country, with many ICU wards having 90 percent or more capacity. And the situation only grew more dire.

“This hospital was established for a while, for a short time,” said Jerry Fonseca, who heads the hospital’s team of nurses.

“But the fact that we live here now is very different.”

A young male nurse in a green scrub, blue mask and white hat stands in the hospital ward
Nurse Jerry Fonseca said all staff at the emergency hospital in Sao Paulo were exhausted as they battled Brazil’s latest wave of COVID-19. (

ABC News: Luiz Rampazzo


Mr Fonseca said all staff were suffering from fatigue.

“For nurses who deal directly with patients, fatigue is not real,” he said.

What is increasingly worrying is the shift in patient profile.

When Pedro Dell’Antonia was founded in July last year, the average age of those treated was 65. Now doctors put him around 37 years.

Many younger patients are able to stay longer in intensive care, which can bring positive results. But it also puts more pressure on the country’s already extremely dangerous critical supplies.

“The number of drugs for intubation is decreasing, but the number of patients requiring intubation is increasing,” said Fonseca.

“It doesn’t fit.”

The sharp increase across Brazil in patients under 60 is thought to be partly due the spread of the Brazilian variant virus known as P.1, which has caused infections and deaths to spike to record levels.

This past week the country has recorded it highest number of deaths in a day so far – 3,869 as of March 31.

A young woman in a gray jumper, white shirt and black skirt is walking on the street
Brazilians in their 20s to 50s have become increasingly infected by COVID-19 in recent months. (

ABC News: Luiz Rampazzo


Daily deaths in Brazil now account for a quarter of all deaths from global COVID-19. Infections are also on the rise.

March 25 saw the highest number of new cases so far in a single day at 100,158.

Bolsonaro is more interested in fighting lockdowns than COVID-19

As well as tidying up treatments that are scientifically refuted, Mr Bolsonaro described COVID-19 as a “mild flu”, trying to challenge the regional lockdown in court and have so far refused to be self-vaccinated.

A group of women in face masks walks on the street while a man slides past them
Brazil’s coronavirus variant appears to be more contagious and could circumvent the immunity provided by past infections, scientists say.(

ABC News: Luiz Rampazzo


Dr Mauricio Nogueira, a professor of Infectious Diseases in the city of São José do Rio Preto in the state of São Paulo, described the combination of strongmen who are skeptical of COVID-19 in the country and the emergence of variant P.1 as a “perfect storm”.

“Our leaders deny the need for social distancing, they deny the magnitude of the outbreak,” he said.

“And at some point, they decided last year that they didn’t need at that point to buy enough vaccines.

“So what happens is when we have the second wave we’re having now, we have a huge number of populations that are completely unprotected.”

But Dr Nogueira said what was worse was that many people “didn’t believe in the right way to avoid disease, because our leaders weren’t playing the right cards”.

Despite the fact that at the Hospital de Base where Dr Nogueira worked, in São José do Rio Preto, all the ICU beds were full.

“Right now there are 155 people in the ICU and people still don’t believe it,” he said.

“This is crazy.”

Only about 2 percent of Brazil’s 211 million people are fully vaccinated.

The country is now too late in trying to increase its supply of vaccines, including exploring whether it can reach a deal to import excess supplies from the United States, but for many Brazilians, it is too late.

Adriana Sandra Santana’s sister did not believe COVID-19 was such a big problem until she contracted it and died.

“One day, he called me and said he had the flu, but he would get better soon,” said Santana.

That was the last time the sisters spoke.

Now the single mother says she is telling people to take the virus seriously.

“Because I lost my sister, the person I really care about, because of the pandemic,” he said.

“And not just me, thousands of people lost their loved ones.”

In the midst of a worsening economic crisis, many rely on food aid

The economic impact of COVID-19 is also profound.

Unemployment has risen to 14 percent, and Bolsonaro said it poses a huge risk to the country like the virus.

“We have two enemies, the virus and unemployment,” said the President last week.

Encouraging people to return to work, Bolsonaro said, “hunger kills more than the virus itself.”

“We’re not going to solve this problem by staying at home.”

Ms Santana has lost her job as a home nurse due to the pandemic.

A woman crouched down in the alley with a slight smile on her face
Adriana lost her job due to the pandemic, and relies on charitable donations or community support to feed her children. (

ABC News: Luiz Rampazzo


Like many residents of the favela of Paraisópolis, the city’s largest slum, she relies heavily on food to feed her children.

“It has helped a lot,” he said.

“But we need more support because these are very difficult times, most mothers are unemployed.”

More than 330,000 people have died after contracting COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, second only to the US.

It’s death and sorrow on an industrial scale.

At Latin America’s largest cemetery Vila Formosa, east of São Paulo, gravediggers struggled to keep up.

Old plots were dug up all the time to open new graves, and funerals were held in a brutal sequence well into the night.

Fabricio Costa has escaped that fate and appears to be improving.

“What’s important for me now is to be human again at home,” he said, choking.

“What gives me strength is that.”

What you need to know about the corona virus:


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Coronavirus: Authorities locked several areas in the Korangi district of Karachi | Instant News

Authorities have implemented micro-smart locks in several areas in the Korangi district of Karachi.

These include Bilal Colony, Mehran City, Sector 6B at Korangi UC-1, Nasir Colony, Sector 32E at UC-2, Chakragoth at Korangi 2 ½, Sector 33E at UC-3, Model Colony UC-1, Mehran Depo and Gillaniabad .

The areas mentioned above will remain locked until April 9th, with the following restrictions:

  • People entering or exiting these areas should wear a face mask
  • Population movement will be restricted
  • All businesses will remain closed, except for grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Only one officer, if absolutely necessary, will be allowed to bring the patient
  • No gatherings are allowed
  • Joy rides, pillion riding are prohibited in this area
  • Public transport will remain suspended

The district government will make every effort to provide rations to needy people in these areas, the notice said.

It will also try to provide mobile dispensaries and utility stores to facilitate residents.


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Smart locking will be enforced in several union councils in Baldia City, SITE | Instant News

Someone who has his body temperature checked as part of the coronavirus standard operating procedure (SOP) mandated by the government. Photo: Files.

The Sindh government announced on Wednesday that a smart lockdown would be imposed on two sub-divisions of the Keamari District in Karachi.

According to the notification issued regarding this, the decision was taken after district health officials identified several areas as hotspots for the corona virus.

According to a report by Geo.tv, smart lockdowns have been enforced at three UCs in Baldia City, including UC-5 from Saeedabad, UC-3 from Islam Nagar, and UC 1 from Gulshan-e-Ghazi, the notice said. Correspondingly, smart locking has also been enforced at two UCs in the SITE area, including the UC-6 from Frontier Colony UC-4 Metrovil.

The smart locks will remain in effect on the council of affected guilds until April 4, 2021.

The lockdowns were put in place in all five areas after the confirmation of one positive patient for the coronavirus in each of the union councils.

The notice further said that the lockdown was enforced in the line of each affected union council.

All persons entering and exiting designated areas must wear face masks, the notice said, adding that unnecessary movement at the affected USC, motorbike hitchhiking and commercial activities would be prohibited.


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Micro smart locking ordered in more areas of Karachi | Instant News

KARACHI: Due to the increase in Covid-19 cases, the Central District authorities have ordered smart micro-locks in more areas under its jurisdiction. Last week, the district government ordered micro-smart lockdowns on nine union councils in North Karachi, North Nazimabad and Gulberg through March 31.

On Tuesday, the Central District administration ordered lockdowns in three subdivisions in the cities of North Karachi, North Nazimabad and Liaquatabad until April 6. According to the notification issued by the authorities, the lockdown had been ordered at the virus hotspot on the recommendation of the district health. officer. Exercising the powers conferred under Section 3 of the 2014 Sindh Epidemic Disease Act, District Deputy Central Commissioner Dr Raja Dharejo has ordered separate micro-smart locks for certain roads and houses for a period of two weeks.

Micro-smart locking has been ordered in union committees in Liaquatabad Areas C and C-1, North Karachi Sector 2, 5A-2, 14-B, 7D and 11-D, as well as North Nazimabad Block L and N.

The notice states that anyone entering or leaving the lockdown area must wear a mask at all times, while no one is allowed to move unnecessarily. Authorities have also suspended all business and industrial activities and banned all family gatherings.

According to standard operating procedures, anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus disease must be quarantined at home. Meanwhile, the Sindh government will take steps to ensure that the needy get a share through philanthropic organizations and by using its own resources.

The regulations also state that all types of industrial units in this area will remain closed, while home deliveries or takeaways of any kind are not permitted from restaurants, fast food stalls or other eating establishments.

The notice states that only groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies are allowed to remain open in these areas for a certain time, while public transportation is not permitted in the affected areas.

Covid-19 claimed three more lives in Sindh in 24 hours, raising the death toll to 4,482 in the province.

Chief Minister Murad Ali said in his daily situation report on health emergencies on Tuesday that 6,304 tests had been carried out and 200 people were diagnosed with Covid-19, which is a detection rate of 3.2 percent. He said the government had so far conducted 3,225,544 tests, of which 263,663 cases were detected, 96.3 percent or 253,981 patients had recovered, including 146 overnight.


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