Coronavirus: Brazil Offers Free Covid-19 Tests In Favelas

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  • Bloomberg QuickTake: Now published this video item, entitled “Coronavirus: Brazil Offers Free Covid-19 Tests In Favelas” – below is their description.

    With Brazil reaching a grim milestone of 5 million confirmed Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, many experts believe testing is insufficient to match rising infections in a country of 200 million people. In one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favelas, Rocinha, some residents on Thursday received Covid-19 tests, as a team from an NGO offered tests in a neighborhood that received little attention from authorities amidst a rapid spread of infections. Tamara Gomes, 58, a business owner who received one of the free tests by the NGO, said that “nothing” was being done to curb the spread of the virus. At its height, Brazil recorded more than 45,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 1,000 deaths per day, persisting per months unlike most other countries whose viral curves had defined peaks. While Brazil’s figures have fallen to about 27,000 cases and 700 deaths daily, Brazil surpassed the total 5 million confirmed cases on Wednesday night and is verging on 150,000 dead, the second most in the world, according to the tally from Johns Hopkins University. “The numbers of contagion is very high, the percentage of people who have positive results is very high, and so we are confirming what is already reflected in society, that this community is incapable of self-isolating,” said Daniel de Paula Junior, Logistic Coordinator for the NGO “Let’s Test”. Meanwhile, crowded streets are an indication of another worrying trend: last week Brazil’s statistics institute released data suggesting that the percentage of people adhering to strict lowdown rules including self-isolation dropped from 68% in July to 57% in mid-September. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the severity of Covid-19 from the start, and insisted that shutting down economies would inflict worse hardship on working-class families than the disease. He told the United Nations General Assembly last month that the virus and joblessness were problems that needed solving simultaneously, and touted emergency cash payouts that helped 65 million Brazilians through the downturn. But his government hasn’t implemented a comprehensive national testing policy to identify cases swiftly and prevent their spread, nor shown any sign it intends to, according to health experts.

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    In This Story: Brazil

    Brazil is the largest country in both South America and Latin America.

    Its capital is Brasília, and its most populous city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states and the Federal District. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas, as well as the most populous Roman Catholic-majority country.

    Its Amazon basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats. Brazil is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country.

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  • In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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