Suspected cases of coronavirus rise in Brazil

The change came after travelers went to countries with confirmed cases

Published in 28/02/2020 - 11:16 By Marcelo Brandão - Brasília

Some 24 hours after the confirmation of Brazil’s first case of coronavirus, the official number of people suspected of having the virus in the country was brought to 132, reported João Gabbardo, executive secretary at the Health Ministry.

This increase, the secretary said, comes as a result of the increase in the number of countries with infected people that exchange an intense migratory flow with Brazil. An example is the first case confirmed in Brazil. A 61-year-old man did not visit China, which concentrates the highest amount of cases in the world, but rather Italy. After his case was confirmed, people traveling to Italy, France, and Italy recently who display fever and one respiratory symptom are also treated as suspected of carrying the virus.


Among the criteria adopted by the ministry are: having traveled to one of the 16 countries in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East with cases of the disease; not having traveled but having had contact with these travelers or with a confirmed case in Brazil. In any of these cases, suspicion rises if they show fever coupled with a respiratory symptom.

The 16 nations with suspected cases are Australia, China, South Korea, North Korea, Cambodia, the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Italy, Germany, France, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates.

The secretary further stressed the need for prevention measures to reduce contamination risks—washing one’s hands often and avoiding touching one’s face, especially the mouth; the use of hand sanitizers to sterilize the hands; and not sharing personal utensils, like cutlery, cups, and pillows.

O secretário executivo do Ministério da Saúde, João Gabbardo dos Reis, divulga dados atualizados sobre novo coronavírus
João Gabbardo, executive secretary at the Health Ministry.  - Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil


On Thursday (Feb. 27), President Jair Bolsonaro said he may call of his trip to Italy in April or May due to the coronavirus outbreak in the European country.

“Sadly, it is yet another dismal reality that must be addressed. We’re already tackling it, doing what we can,” the president said about the confirmed case of coronavirus in Brazil.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fábio Massalli / Nira Foster

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