FAST FIVE: Rio's Favela Gangs Impose Strict Curfews To Fight Spread Of "Disease Of The Rich"

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The message has been given.” Cidade de Deus is a West Zone neighborhood of the Rio de Janeiro city, known for lawless favelas.  Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been criticized for his slow response to the outbreak, as more than 2,274 confirmed cases and 47 deaths had been reported in the South American country.  There was speculation earlier this month that Bolsonaro tested positive for the virus, though, later reports revealed that was false.  JUST IN: Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has tested negative for coronavirus, according to a post on his Facebook page – QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) March 13, 2020 Reuters notes, while Extra is a “well-sourced Rio newspaper,” they could not verify the recorded message that was played to residents.  Criminal gangs and militias often act as de facto authorities in favelas, one where the government has very little oversight.

Favela residents have called COVID-19: “the disease of the rich,” due mostly because wealthier Brazilians returning from Europe brought the virus over.  Manda quem pode, obedece quem tem juízo.

Another issue, and one that gangs cannot solve, is the access to healthcare, the area does not have a modern hospital system.   Across all of Brazil, 40 million people lack clean water.

At the same time, 100 million, or about half the population, don't have access to public sewage, increasing fears that the lack of basic sanitation and weak immune systems could lead to a significant outbreak.  “Basic sanitation is terrible,” said Jefferson Maia, a 27-year-old resident of Cidade de Deus.

We are very concerned with the coronavirus issue.” RIO – Coronavírus “sobe morro”: Cidade de Deus tem 1° caso de COVID-19 / Gazeta do Brasil – Nelson Carvalheira (@N_Carvalheira) March 22, 2020 Thamiris Deveza, a family doctor, working in Rio's Alemao complex of slums, told Reuters that the fast-spreading virus could wreak havoc in favelas.  Bolsonaro has followed President Trump's playbook in attempting to keep the economy open and restore normal life as quickly as possible.  Bolsonaro has defied advice from the medical community to implement a nationwide lockdown, has also lashed out at local governors who have closed their economies to slowdown infections.  On Tuesday, Rio's Governor Wilson Witzel reduced public transportation while shuttering local shops and even closed the beach.  Witzel recently warned that Rio's public health system was at risk of “collapse.”  Edmilson Migowski, a virologist at Rio's Federal University, said favelas across the country could be the epicenter of the virus outbreak.  Tyler Durden Wed, 03/25/2020 – 23:30.

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