Sao Paulo [Brazil], May 8 (ANI/Xinhua): The government of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo on Friday extended for two more weeks its restriction phase, and night curfew established to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, although it eased restrictions on businesses and restaurants.
During a press conference, the governor of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, explained that the decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations allows for the relaxation of restrictions, after the collapse of the hospital system in March and April in almost all of Brazil due to an 85 to 100 percent occupancy of intensive care unit (ICU) beds.
“We are doing a gradual and safe opening to avoid any outbreaks of the pandemic,” he said.
The transition phase, as the gradual return to activities from the red phase is called, will be extended until May 22, while as of Saturday, businesses and restaurants can operate until 9:00 p.m. at 25 percent capacity.
Sao Paulo, Brazil‘s most populous state, leads the South American country in its COVID-19 caseload, with 2,969,680 cases and 99,406 deaths.
“We had a reduction in hospitalizations and deaths compared to the beginning of April,” said Paulo Menezes, coordinator of Sao Paulo‘s Coronavirus Contingency Center. Meanwhile, ICU bed occupancy has fallen to 78.3 percent in the state from over 91 percent on April 1.
Sao Paulo was in the red phase from March 6 to 23, moving to the transition phase and gradually opening up activities as according to hospital availability. (ANI/Xinhua)