On the day WHO classified COVID-19 as a pandemic, almost all activities continued in Brazil in normal way. Sixty thousand people at the Maracanã, forty thousand at the Morumbi stadium to watch the games of the Taça Libertadores.
There are 61 confirmed coronavirus cases, doubled in one day.
However, the first restrictions begin in isolation: in Brasilia (2 confirmed cases), lessons in schools and universities were suspended for five days and events with more than 100 people were canceled. In São Paulo, after having registered the positivity of a pupil and two parents, three private schools have decided to suspend lessons to disinfect the rooms. The faculty of History of the University of Sao Paulo (USP) has also decided to suspend lessons after a student has tested positive for coronavirus.
The pro-government demonstration scheduled for March 15 in the main Brazilian cities has been confirmed for the time being.
It seems inevitable, however, that, in the next few hours or days, the government will put in place restrictive measures to try to control the spread of the virus.
The real problem is the precariousness of the Brazilian public health structure, which should support the weight of the spread of coronavirus among the poorest and at the same time most exposed to the virus.
The Brazilian stock exchange
The Brazilian stock exchange also activated the “circuit breaker” today (12 March), after the losses had exceeded 15%
The Bovespa index fell to 72 thousand points (11.45 on 12 March), down 37% compared to the beginning of the crisis (21 February); in dollars the loss is 43%, in euro 45%.
The dollar is quoted R$ 4.89 (11.45 am)
The euro is quoted at R$ 5.44
The impact of drastically restrictive measures would have a devastating impact on the low-income population, which represents the majority of the population. With a savings index among the lowest in the world (67% of Brazilians are unable to save, due to low income and sometimes for cultural reasons), even a temporary paralyzation of commercial activities and self-employment (for example, that of domestic workers) could provoke an unprecedented humanitarian emergency in Brazil.
In terms of GDP, the government is already talking about a pessimistic scenario with growth of 1% in 2020.