The Latest: Brazil’s capital returns to COVID-19 lockdown

Coronavirus

At least eight Brazilian states adopted curfews over the past week due to the rise in cases and deaths from COVID-19

Brazil capital lockdown

FILE – This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021 cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two (Johnson & Johnson via AP)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s capital has entered a two-week lockdown, joining a dozen of states in adopting measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as intensive care beds begin to fill in some important cities.

At least eight Brazilian states adopted curfews over the past week due to the rise in cases and deaths from COVID-19. Thursday was Brazil’s deadliest day since the beginning of the pandemic, with 1,541 deaths confirmed from the virus. So far 254,000 people have died overall.

Brasilia Gov. Ibaneis Rocha decreed the total closure of bars, restaurants, shopping malls and schools until March 15 and prohibited gatherings of people. Sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited after 8 p.m.

In the federal district, 85% of hospital beds were occupied on Sunday, according to the local health ministry.

President Jair Bolsonaro again criticized such measures, saying on his Twitter account: “The people want to work.”

He threatened on Friday to cut off federal emergency pandemic assistance to states resorting to lockdowns, saying, “Governors who close down their states will have to provide for their own emergency aid.”

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