What were the expectations of the Government?
The President of the Republic started noting that the expectations were that, with the implementation of the administrative measures during the State of Emergency (including its first extension), the following overarching aims could be achieved, notably (i) the flattening of the epidemiological curve, slowing the progression of the pandemic, thus preventing the collapse of the National Health System and the reduction of mortality by COVID-19 (ii) avoid as much as possible progression to a more restrictive alert level - the so-called level 4 (lockdown) - considering its serious social and economic impacts for the country. However, these expectations, to some extent, fall short to the actual scenario.
Positive aspects unveiled during the State of Emergency (including its first extension)
The number of positive cases of COVID-19 has been increasing day after day. Notwithstanding, the President highlighted some positive aspects worth noting: (i) people's increasing awareness to the use of the mask in public transport and in places of agglomeration, (ii) the improvement of border control, increasing the inspection of the movement of people and goods in circulation through these points; (iii) compliance with the opening hours established by government authorities for most commercial establishments and markets and (iv) the closure, in many neighborhoods, of places for leisure, sale of alcoholic beverages, public swimming pools, places for the practice of collective sports, among others.
However, there is still much work to be done …
Nonetheless, the President said that we are far from being at the ideal point where we can get back to “normal life”, notably because there is still some level of non-compliance with some of the measures put in place by the Government, notably: (i) massive circulation of students even though schools are closed, (ii) non-compliance with vehicle capacity and lack of observance of the interpersonal distance which is of 1.5 meters at terminals for public passenger transport and while doing physical exercise, (iii) attempts to gradually reopen entertainment places such as bars and tents (in Portuguese, “barracas”), on the part of some owners, which is reflected in the promotion of the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in a clear violation of the confinement measures.
What are the main guidelines for the second extension of the State of Emergency?
- Intensification of the law enforcement officers and the massive inspection in all spaces in order to comply with the preventive measures against COVID-19;
- Community, local and religious leaders must be more active in mobilizing and educate their members;
- Limit, at most, the internal movement of people;
- Observe the mandatory 14-day domicile quarantine for all citizens arriving in the country, who have been in places with active cases and those who have had direct contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the health authorities must adopt mechanisms for effective control;
- Observe the mandatory use of masks in all places where people gather, such as on public roads, public passenger transports, markets, common areas, favoring those of community manufacture;
- Comply with the minimum social distance of 1.5 meters in all situations determined within the scope of preventive measures;
Lastly, the President of the Republic referred that the upcoming 15-days will be decisive and will dictate whether the measures in place should be relaxed or, intensified.
All in all, it was mentioned that the success in fighting the virus depend mostly on us, on the strict observance of the prevention measures, on the change of our lifestyle and discipline.
The message remains the same: #StayHomeStaySafe!