Coronavirus: What you need to know about the outbreak in Brazil

Brazil is the Latin American country with the largest number of confirmed cases. Travelers arriving from international destinations must stay at home for 7 days

coronavirus illustration
llustration: CDC

As coronavirus disease COVID-19 spreads through Brazil an other Latin American countries, with 98 confirmed cases until Friday (13th), LABS listed the main the decisions and guidelines from the Brazilian authorities concerning the new coronavirus.

Until this Friday, Brazil is the Latin American country with the largest number of confirmed cases. The entire region already has more than 250 confirmed cases, and health officials expect this number to be quite high in the coming days. For this reason, measures such as to cancel events with a large concentration of people and encourage remote work have already been taken in the region.

According to Reuters, on Thursday (12th) the Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said Brazil should use the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to accelerate the government’s economic reform plans, which include reducing the budget deficit and size of the public sector, simplifying the tax system, and ramping up privatizations.

The Brazilian government also hopes to reach agreement with lawmakers for a BRL 10 billion ($2.05 billion) package to fight the spread of coronavirus.

CORONAVIRUS IN LATIN AMERICA: Follow the economic impacts and the updates about the COVID-19 on LABS Special Page.

Guedes also announced some economic measures concerning the elderly, since they more vulnerable to the virus. He was announced the anticipation of the payment of BRL 23 billion referring to the 50% portion of the year-end bonus salary, paid to all Brazilians retirees and pensioners from the National Social Security Institute (INSS). It will be held in April.

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Below you’ll find the main guidelines concerning not only Brazilians citizens but also foreigners who are temporarily in the country:

1 – International travelers arriving in Brazil should stay at home for 7 days. It’s also applied to those who have no symptoms of Covid-19.

2 – International travelers should look for a health facility if during the isolations experience shortness of breath or fever with cough. In case of difficulty breathing, people should look for a health reference unit.

3 – People with symptoms should be isolated for up to 14 days. Also, if you had contact with other people who where infected you can also be placed in isolation, as recommended by doctors.

4 – Quarantine, the social restriction officially decreed by an authority, would be the last measure to be adopted by each local management. It will only happen if there is 80% occupancy of the ICU beds available for the response to Covid-19.

5 – If the recommendations weren’t adopted, Brazilian Ministry of Health says that number of cases can double every 3 days.

Medical care

COVID-19 may cause similar symptoms to the common flu. You should not seek for a health care unit if you have only a cough, only a runny nose, only a runny nose and malaise or a feeling of drowsiness in the body, or only a fever. If you feel this way, the recommendation is to call 136 so that a health team can provide guidance.

You should only seek for a referral health unit for care if you have shortness of breath.


  • The use of masks is only indicated for people who are currently sick or have had home contact with sick people. It’s also recommended for health professionals.
  • Avoid handshakes. Don’t share food and drinks. Don’t be too close to other people. Reduce exposure to crowded places.
  • Elderly and chronically ill people should avoid crowded places such as cinema, shopping malls, concerts and trips
  • Change routine in public transport.
  • Do outdoors exercicizes. Gyms can encourage alternative schedules and reinforce equipment hygiene.
  • Buy supplies that should always be on hand to avoid going out if you become ill or need to care for someone who is sick. Avoid unnecessary purchases.
  • People in use of continuous medications should ask for prescriptions with longer validity, to avoid having to go to a health unit in the period between autumn and winter.
  • Shopping outside peak hours.
  • Institutions responsible for shopping malls and businesses should allow people to wash their hands frequently, use 70% alcohol, make disposable towels available and clean the environment more frequently–including floors, handrails, door handles.
  • Companies should encourage virtual meetings, cancel trips that are not essential and use remote work. They must also adopt alternative schedules so that there are fewer people circulating during peak hours.
  • Educational institutions should plan the anticipation of vacations in order to reduce the damage to the school calendar.
  • Events with a close concentration of people–whether governmental, sporting, artistic, cultural, political, scientific, commercial or religious –should be canceled or postponed if time permits. If this is not possible, the advice is that the event takes place with no audience. It must be applied to both mass events and indoor events.
  • Tourist cruises must also be postponed while the public health emergency period is in effect.
  • Fulnerals of people who died of Covid-19 infection should take place without crowding.
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