Brazil’s Minas Gerais state to enforce 15 days of strictest COVID-19 restrictions

People enjoy at a bar after a Manaus City Hall decree that determined the closure of bars and restaurants was issued, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Manaus, Brazil

Brazil’s second most populous state Minas Gerais will enter a “purple wave” with the toughest measures against COVID-19 on Wednesday, Governor Romeu Zema said Tuesday.

The phase will last 15 days to curb COVID-19 and alleviate the pressure on regional hospitals, according to authorities.

“If we do not adopt these measures, the number of patients will increase and that is why it is necessary to be careful,” Zema said at a press conference.

Cities throughout the state, including the capital Belo Horizonte, are bracing for the toughest measures yet since the onset of the pandemic, including a nighttime curfew.

At the beginning of March, the hospital network in the city of Uberlandia, the main agricultural-livestock center in Minas Gerais, collapsed and patients were sent to neighboring Sao Paulo, which is also in an emergency phase.

Minas Gerais has registered 20,687 COVID-19 deaths with infections just under 1 million as of Tuesday.

At least nine other states are adopting similar measures after a spike in cases led to the collapse of area hospitals.

Brazil has registered 282,127 COVID-19 deaths with 11,603,535 cases so far.

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