Brazil declares state of emergency as beaches, bars and restaurants in Rio de Janeiro close and travel is restricted amid coronavirus pandemic

  • The Brazilian government imposed a state of emergency on Friday to combat the coronavirus epidemic 
  • The announcement comes as confirmed cases of the deadly have doubled over there in the last two days 
  • On Thursday, Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel ordered all of the beaches closed as of Saturday for 15 days 
  • Restaurants and bars will also be shut down in Rio, a favorite destination for international tourists
  • Witzel also said he would be banning all international flights in and out of the state, as well as domestic flights to Brazilian states with coronavirus cases
  • President Jair Bolsonaro accused China’s government earlier this week of being responsible for the virus’ outbreak, which has caused eight deaths in Brazil
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Brazil declared a state of emergency on Friday, freeing up funds for the federal government to fight the coronavirus pandemic as confirmed cases have doubled there in two days.  

The Senate approved a measure letting the government waive fiscal targets this year, with senators voting remotely after two of them tested positive for the virus.

On Thursday, Rio’s governor, Wilson Witzel ordered all of the beaches and bars and restaurants close as of Saturday for 15 days.

As of Friday, Brazilian health officials had confirmed 654 cases and eight deaths. 

Brazil’s two biggest cities, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and their surrounding states have moved to slow the outbreak by restricting social gatherings in a push to empty shopping malls, beaches and public transportation. There have been 286 cases in Sao Paulo and 66 in Rio.

Rio de Janeiro’s beaches will be closed for 15 days, starting Saturday, in an attempt to slow down the coronavirus outbreak that has claimed eight lives in Brazil

Coronavirus cases have doubled in two days in Brazil, increasing to 654 as of Friday, when the government declared a state of emergency 

Passengers waiting for their flights to Argentina crowd Rio de Janeiro International Airport on Friday, a day after the Brazilian government announced it was banning entry for the next 30 days to foreigners from a number of places, including China, Japan and the European Union

Flights from China, Japan and the European Union have been banned for 30 days. 

But flights between Brazil and its neighbors Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Venezuela will still be permitted. Travel between the United States and Brazil is also allowed.

Many Brazilians have been drumming pots and pans in their homes nightly in a traditional protest against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who ignored medical advice to meet crowds of supporters on Sunday despite having several aides diagnosed with virus.

Bolsonaro, who was already struggling to resuscitate a weak economy, looked to blame state governors on Friday for the economic impact of the virus. Brazil’s currency and stock market were among the world’s biggest losers over the past two weeks.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been criticized for his handling of the coronavirus epidemic that has caused eight deaths in Latin America’s largest country. Earlier this week, his son accused the Chinese government of being behind the deadly disease’s outbreak

All of the beaches in Rio de Janeiro will remain shut for 15 days beginning Saturday

‘[Governors] are taking extreme measures that aren’t in their purview … commerce stops and people don’t have anything to eat,’ he told reporters outside his official residence, ‘the medicine has to be proportional (to the illness), or it kills.’

The president also looked to defuse a diplomatic spat with No.1 trading partner China that began when his son, lawmaker Eduardo Bolsonaro, blasted the Asian country for how it handled the initial outbreak of the virus.

‘There is no problem with China,’ Bolsonaro told reporters outside his official residence. He said he might reach out to China to get equipment for fighting the outbreak. ‘If I have to call the Chinese president, I’ll call. No problem,’ he said.

Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue is lit up with the flags of countries currently afflicted by the coronavirus

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