SAO PAULO | Paulista Avenue, artery emblematic of Sao Paulo, the largest megalopolis in Latin America, woke up Tuesday with the allure of a weekend in the full week, only a few walkers braving the order of containment in the main focus of contamination coronavirus in Brazil.
The “quarantine” decreed for 15 days from Tuesday by the government of Sao Paulo is much less drastic than the containment in place in most of the countries of Europe and in neighboring Argentina.
The decree ” implies the closing of all the shops and services non-essential “, but without any real restriction of movement, even if the local authorities strongly recommend that the population remains confined.
Only pharmacies, supermarkets, and bakeries remain open.
On Paulista Avenue, the stream in the usual workers around the towering skyscrapers had been replaced by the up-and-coming cyclists, joggers and walkers, taking advantage of the pleasant morning, with a clear sky and a temperature of 22 degrees.
However, the governor Joao Doria was adamant: “this is not a vacation, we are at war. It is not necessary to get out of it unless it is absolutely essential, ” he said Monday.
This has not prevented Ana Dias, retired 71-year-old, to get out to stretch your legs.
“I have the impression that a lot of people exaggerate. The containment measures are detrimental for everyone “, she says.
“The restaurants should stay open, it would be enough to put more space between the tables, and give the gel hydro-alcoholic to customers that they wash their hands,” she continued.
“It only affects people weak or those who do not love life. Me, I want to enjoy, ” says Luiz Andrade, also aged 71 years.
But those who were forced to go out to work don’t hear from that ear. “They would have had to close them all “, said Larissa Miranda, 18, who continues to disinfect in the alcohol his newsstand.
“I am very worried, what is it to say that one is in quarantine if I have to take the subway to work,” she adds.
The State of Sao Paulo, the richest and most populous of Brazil, is widely the most affected by the Covid-19 in the country, with 745 confirmed cases, about 40 % of the total, and, especially, 30 of the 34 deaths caused by the disease.
Ironically, Davi Ipu, doctor-infectiologist responsible for the coordination of the fight of the pandemic in the State of Sao Paulo, has been tested positive on Monday night.
In this State of 46 million people with deep social inequalities, the measures of containment are more difficult (or even impossible) to apply at the most vulnerable people.
Miriam, a homeless 25-year-old sleeps on the Paulista Avenue with her husband and her dog, tries to reassure by saying that she does not feel any symptoms at the moment.
“It is clear that I am concerned. It regularly fills a basin for washing the hands “, explains the young woman.
She flatly refuses to go in a shelter, fearing that these facilities are ” full of coronavirus “.
Sao Paulo is the economic powerhouse and financier of Brazil and all of Latin America, representing nearly one-third of the GDP of Brazil.
The governor Joao Doria has excluded the industrial sector of the order of quarantine. “If the factories shut down, the whole economy is going down, not only in Sao Paulo “, he said this weekend.
In Rio de Janeiro, the second most populous city in the country and a high tourist place of Brazil, most of the shops were also closed and access to the beaches has been banned.