The municipality of Rio de Janeiro extended until August 9 the restriction measures established in the decree published on May 27, 2021 to combat the spread of covid-19. The mandatory use of protective masks is among the protection measures, which also include the operation of bars, cafeterias, restaurants and kiosks with only seated customers and with a distance of 1.5 meters between them.
Samba circles are allowed, as long as they also have 1.5 meters between people and a maximum capacity of 40% indoors. In the open it goes up to 60% but only for the seated public.
The inspection of compliance with the measures is carried out by the Municipal Secretariat of Public Order (Seop), the Municipal Guard of Rio de Janeiro and the Municipal Institute of Sanitary Surveillance, Zoonoses Surveillance and Agricultural Inspection (IVISA-Rio) of the Municipal Secretariat of Health (SMS).
The municipal health secretary, Daniel Soranz, said that the decree is kept until the 9th and there is, for now, no change in the city’s flexibility. For Soranz, the measures are difficult, but he warned that they are necessary to prevent the spread of covid-19 in Rio.
“We know this is a very difficult time for people. The restrictive measures are being extended until the 9th. It is not easy for society, I imagine that each one has a life story, their situations, their problems, their mental health conditions, but we still need the collaboration of all to avoid the even faster dissemination of covid-19”, he said during the presentation of the 29th Epidemiological Bulletin of the City of Rio.
As for the contamination that can occur with the movement of people from other municipalities in the capital, the secretary commented that the borders are only administrative, which is a complex case because the restrictive measures are different between them, as well as the vaccination situations. “This border is administrative and doesn’t actually exist. The flow of people between cities is very intense and between states is also very intense. Our request for those in the city of Rio de Janeiro is to continue using a mask, alcohol gel, using open environments as much as possible, avoiding any unnecessary exposure if possible”, he said.
Soranz added that the analysis of the evolution of the disease is permanent in the department and based on the assessments, plans are drawn up, such as for the possibility of New Year’s Eve parties, Carnival in 2022, religious meetings and the return of the public to sporting events. The secretary argued that it is necessary to provide predictability to the population about what could happen in the near future, but even for important dates for the city of Rio de Janeiro, such as Carnival and New Year’s, they depend on society’s collaboration in order not to relax with the use of masks and avoid crowding.
The Rio Health Secretary recalled that there are a number of variables that influence this process. He believes that it was a gain for the City of Rio to announce a vaccination calendar for the whole year, which can provide people with a forecast. However, there may be some change if there is an advance in the evolution of the disease.
Regarding the presence of the public at the stadiums, the secretary said that there is nothing new, although the matter is under analysis by the City Hall of Rio. Soranz recalled that there were breaches of protocols in the two events organized by the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) , at Maracanã, for the finals of the Copa Libertadores between Palmeiras and Santos, on January 31st, and of the Copa América between Brazil and Argentina, on the 10th of this month, and this generated uncertainty in continuing to authorize this release. “It’s no use having a good protocol if in practice, on a daily basis, a single gate is opened for people to enter, there is no test with an accredited company and people are released to the stadium”, he observed.
According to Soranz, the secretariat is still analyzing a sample of the tests that were presented for the Copa América match and so far none of them have been found to be false. “So far we haven’t found any false test in our sample of collected tests, but it always generates a concern for the Health Department for new events even with a new scenario and an epidemiological panorama improving as it is”, he concluded.
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