Sao Paulo, epicentre of Brazil’s Covid-19 outbreak, to begin easing lockdown in May

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Sao Paula [Brazil], April 23 (ANI): Brazil’s southeast state of Sao Paulo, which has been the epicentre of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak, will gradually ease lockdown measures in mid-May, authorities said.

Governor Joao Doria said that the stringent measures which were put in place on March 24 to curtail the spread of the deadly virus will be eased starting from May 11, Xinhua news agency reported. Social distancing measures will be relaxed by regions, depending on the local conditions, Doria told the media at a conference on Wednesday.

“There will be differentiated criteria for the new lockdown starting on the 11th, but it will always be in keeping with scientific data gathered by cities and regions in Sao Paulo state,” he said.

Elsewhere in Brazil, the southern state of Santa Catarina, which borders Argentina, began to lift lockdown measures on Wednesday, but maintained limits on mass gatherings, while continuing to keep bars and restaurants closed.

According to Sao Paulo Deputy Governor Rodrigo Garcia, the state’s 645 cities managed to preserve 74 per cent of their economic activity during the lockdown, while observing social distancing rules.

Sao Paulo is Brazil’s most populated state, with 46 million inhabitants, and accounts for a third of the nation’s gross domestic product.

Brazil has registered 45,757 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection and 2,906 deaths from the disease. Sao Paulo is the hardest-hit state, with 15,914 cases and 1,134 deaths.

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