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Update from Brazil

Posted on 25th March 2020 at 15:53pm

It is important to be aware of what other countries and municipalities are doing in the face of Covid-19, so we can learn from their experience. Here, Dr Harrysson Luiz Da Silva provides the first of several updates from Brazil, and we are immensely grateful to both him and Advisory Panel Member, Elton Cunha.

Operation to disperse a gathering at an outdoor party after the gathering had been reported to authorities. It is essential that public distancing is maintained (Photo: Elton Cunha - Civil Defense of the Municipality of Barra Velha - Santa Catarina - Brazil 

On March 17, 2020, the Government of the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil issued an emergency decree to block activities that can generate crowds of people, as well as population movement on the streets, as well as how to stay at home to reduce the levels of contact to avoid contagion by the coronavirus.

The Municipality of Barra Velha, on the north coast of the state, created its crisis office (Military Police, Civil Police, Military Firefighters, Voluntary Firefighters, City Hall, Civil Defense and Health Secretariat), co-ordinated by the Health Secretariat. It’s mission is to define interinstitutional and fiscal communications or state decrees. One of these is to sensitise local residents and tourists of the need to not carry out activities or gatherings, as shown in the photo below in the municipality of Barra Velha.

The difficulties presented in the management of this crisis can be summed up in the lack of compliance with the Emergency Decree by the population and traders, often by denying the biological threat presented by the government and the news mainly coming from Europe. "We are in a giant challenge, not only due to the threat of COVID-19, but the collective awareness, bombarded by a lot of unofficial information and fake news," adds Elton Cunha.

Dr Harrysson Luiz Da Silva is Associate Professor I of the Department of Geosciences of the Federal University of Santa Catarina - UFSC, and Professor of the Professional Master's Course in Natural Disasters, UFSC, Brazil

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