Sao Paulo [Brazil], May 20 (ANI/Xinhua): Sao Paulo, the Brazilian state hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, on Wednesday announced it will extend a night-time curfew to curb the transmission of COVID-19 but will relax restrictions on businesses starting June 1.
“We are moving forward, but with caution and with prudence, and recommending that people continue to respect social distancing as restrictions are eased,” Governor Joao Doria said at a press conference.
The most populous state in Brazil, with 46 million inhabitants, has been in lockdown since March 8, when the hospital system collapsed in most parts of the country, and has been gradually relaxing restrictions since the end of April.
“On June 1 we will enter a new phase of the Sao Paulo Plan, expanding the opening hours of businesses until 10:00 p.m. with 60 percent occupancy of venues. We are also going to initiate an extensive program of rapid tests of symptomatic people in Sao Paulo state cities,” said Doria.
Curfew was shortened by an hour to last from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am, but will continue because the COVID-19 Contingency Committee blames nightlife, especially in the city of Sao Paulo, South America’s largest city, for spreading the virus.
Sao Paulo state has registered 105,105 of Brazil’s 439,050 COVID-19 deaths, and 3.1 million of the country’s more than 15.7 million cases of infection. (ANI/Xinhua)