Rio Civil Defense sent to beaches, tell people to leave

The initiative aims to prevent coronavirus infections

Published in 16/03/2020 - 15:22 By Akemi Nitahara - Rio de Janeiro

After Rio authorities brought school vacations forward in a bid to curb the transmission of the coronavirus, the sunny weather encouraged a large number of people to go to the city’s beaches, opposing the recommendations made by the World Health Organization and the Health Ministry to avoid gatherings.

This morning (16), beachgoers were surprised by firefighters driving with loudspeakers, telling them to stay in and do their part in containing the advance of the disease. The state of Rio de Janeiro has 25 confirmed cases, one of which severe.

In a video recorded in Praia Vermelha, South Rio, with the Sugar Loaf in the background, a loudspeaker is heard saying, “Good morning. The state’s Civil Defense urges people to avoid gatherings on the beach. For your own security and that of your neighbors, friends, and family members, please return home. This is the time to be aware. Do your part and help prevent and control the coronavirus. You always count on the Fire Department. Can we count on you? Thank you.”


Rio Governor Wilson Witzel stressed the message on his Twitter account: “Our priority is to contain the proliferation of the virus as best we can and mitigate the harm done to the population. But tough actions will only be effective if people understand the real magnitude of the problem. The scenario last weekend, with beaches and public places packed with people, must not repeat itself.”

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Maria Claudia / Nira Foster

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