São Paulo's Governor João Doria has extended the quarantine through Wednesday, April 22, as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases multiplies throughout the state. Government data shows that the virus has reached over 100 municipalities in São Paulo and more than 400 hospitals are managing the crisis in the state, with 4620 COVID-19 cases. Residents are therefore obliged to remain at home unless they require essential goods and services. Essential services, such as hospitals, dental clinics, supermarkets, bakeries, banks, and public transport will continue to operate.
All of Brazil's land borders continue to remain closed but will be open for trucks carrying essential goods and people on humanitarian missions. Officials have also ruled out closing the borders to returning citizens. Earlier 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) will be 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.
As of Wednesday, April 8, there are 14,049 COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 688 deaths and 127 recoveries. Further spread of the virus is to be expected in 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 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.