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Brazil coronavirus: Rio reopens because experts warn that the worst is yet to come



Brazil coronavirus: Rio reopens because experts warn that the worst is yet to come

“My crew and I are eager to get back to work,” he told CNN about his place called Cabanna, which serves snacks, sandwiches and cocktails. “It will be different, with all the precautions we have to take, the distance of the table, the number of people sitting together, but it feels good to be working again.”

Assy said he barely avoided bankruptcy, lay off four of his 11 employees and freeze or reduce the salaries of the remaining seven when Rio de Janeiro ordered all important businesses closed in March, in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.

“Another month like this, and I have to close completely,” he said. “Today I am more afraid of staying at home and not working than the corona virus.”

Like many cities in Brazil, under pressure from rising unemployment and rising economies, Rio de Janeiro eased restrictions – despite warnings from experts that the city has so far failed to control Covid-19.

Starting Thursday, restaurants, bars and gymnasiums are allowed to reopen, following new health guidelines that require the use of masks and social distance. On the first day, there were several customers in the seaside pedestrian area, although it was unclear whether it was caused by the weather or the fear of the corona virus, which experts said might not reach its peak in Brazil until mid-August.

At the end of May, researchers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) counts the pandemic in Rio will peak the following month, and recommends maintaining social isolation measures.

But on June 2, Mayor Rio Marcelo Crivella announced plans to gradually relax restrictions, starting with the reopening of car dealers and home decor shops. Then came the trade, shopping centers and several public spaces.

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A month later, the number of deaths from Covid-19 had risen 70% to 6,550 and the total number of infections in the city rose by almost 50% to 57,879, according to Rio’s state health secretary. And while the number of deaths recorded in the second half of the month was slightly lower, 1,303 vs. 1,372, the number of new cases was 16% higher at 13,675.

Overall, Brazil has the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, second only to the US. As of Thursday, there were more than 60,000 deaths and 1.4 million confirmed case from viruses.

Other cities have regrets

But plans to reopen remain unchanged. Experts warn Rio can follow in the footsteps of other Brazilian cities that are moving too fast to reopen and eventually have to close again.

One of the first Brazilian state capitals to apply quarantine, Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais, began to reopen its economy at the end of May. But this week it ordered non-essential activities to be closed again, due to a surge in deaths and hospitalizations.

The fact that the virus spreads as a limitation is reduced in Rio is not a coincidence, according to Roberto Medronho, an epidemiologist at UFRJ and one of the creators of “covidimeter,” a tool that calculates transmission rates. As of June 7, the capital city has a transmission rate of 1.03. Three weeks later, the transmission rate was at 1.46.

“This shows that the decision to expand reopening is based on economic and non-scientific criteria,” Medronho told CNN.

Covid-19 has hit the Brazilian economy hard even when President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly underestimated the effects of the virus by insisting that hunger and unemployment can kill more people than a pandemic. While most Brazilians initially supported the closure of unnecessary business, Bolsonaro’s message echoed even more.
About 7.8 million Brazilians lost their jobs between March and May, according to figures released this week by the Brazilian statistics agency IBGE. The agency said that for the first time since it began tracking data, less than half the working age population actually worked. The exact figure is 49.5%.

Economists expect a historic recession because of Covid-19. The Brazilian Central Bank estimates a decline in GDP of 6.4% for this year, while the International Monetary Fund is more pessimistic and sees the economy shrinking 9.1% by 2020.

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Crivella from Rio said his decision was taken after discussions with his scientific committee, which determined that the gym, bar and restaurant could be reopened because the number of deaths had slowed and the percentage of ICU beds occupied had also declined.

In early June, 90% of ICU beds in Rio were occupied. This week, the figure has dropped to 69%. Even so, experts say it should not be the only statistic used to make decisions.

“The governor and mayor opened a field hospital and bought a ventilator, and the numbers are increasing,” said Domingos Alves, a computer modeling expert from Covid-19 Brazilian group, which brings together scientists from several Brazilian universities.

“But this has its limits: doctors are not available like beds, and there is no way to increase this capacity indefinitely. Relying only on ICU bed work as a basis for reopening is a trick used to calm the population.”

Alves said the plan next week to open a football match in the city to the public would only worsen an already complicated situation.

The city of Belo Horizonte also based its decision to reopen in late May about the ICU occupation, a decision now regretted by Mayor Alexandre Kalil.

“What we are doing as a country is to buy more beds. It is a mistake to think that this will solve it. Now we have to close again in Belo Horizonte because cases are skyrocketing. I see this drama as war, and in a war, you change your strategy all the time, “Kalil said in an interview.

By the end of May, the number of hospital beds in Belo Horizonte had quadrupled since the start of the pandemic and Kalil allowed retail stores and beauty salons to open.

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Unlike Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte does not allow shopping centers, churches and parks to reopen, but even so, in one month cases jumped from 1,852 to 4,942, and the death rate increased from 49 to 106. Earlier this week, 92 % of intensive care beds occupied.

Kalil reintroduced the act of social isolation on June 26. He said they would be retained for at least two more weeks.

“You cannot say that everything was fine when the media reported the death toll in the country had exceeded 60,000. In Belo Horizonte we are not flat earth inhabitants. Closing or opening will depend on science and numbers,” he said.

Scientists in the Brazilian Covid-19 group predicted that cities that relax social action could see a 150% increase in the number of Covid-19 registered cases in the next two weeks.

“The governor and mayor sent the population to slaughterhouses with the privilege of economic recovery,” Domingos Alves said.

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Portuguese government highly appreciates the priorities of the Czech Presidency of the European Union – Observer



Portuguese government highly appreciates the priorities of the Czech Presidency of the European Union - Observer

The Secretary of State for European Affairs this Wednesday expressed full agreement with the five political priorities identified by the upcoming Czech Presidency of the European Council, highlighting issues of support for Ukraine and the energy transition.

The priorities of the Czech presidency will eventually become the priorities of the Portuguese government for the next six months. We hope that the Assembly of the Republic will follow this path,” said Thiago Antunes at the opening of the parliamentary debate on the priorities of the Czech presidency.

The Secretary of State for European Affairs began by setting the priorities of the executive branch in Prague for the second half of this year: managing the refugee crisis and the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, energy security, strengthening European defense and cyber security, the strategic sustainability of the European economy, and the resilience of the democratic institutions of the European Union.

According to a member of the Portuguese government, the first priority is continued military assistance, humanitarian and financial to Ukraine“with the application of sanctions against Russia and its allies.”


“The European Union is facing the biggest wave of refugees since the Second World War, and the Czech Presidency proposes to mobilize and coordinate all the necessary resources for the reception and integration,” especially of children, he said.

Speaking about energy security, Thiago Antunes mentioned “the difficult but fast path that the European Union has already covered in a short period of time.”

“The war in Ukraine has demonstrated that the European Union cannot depend on Russia for energy supply, and the mission of the Czech Presidency will now be to achieve progressive and rapid autonomization and modernization in the energy sector. Portugal has all the conditions to become a central player in the energy transition,” says the European Affairs portfolio holder.

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In his opening remarks, Thiago Antunes also mentioned the goals of the Czech Republic to strengthen European defense, namely through partnership with the Atlantic Alliance, in which he highlighted the issue of cyber security in preventing attacks.

The Secretary of State for European Affairs then spoke. “European problem of vulnerability” in the face of global supply chainscontrasting with the need for reindustrialization, and highlighted the “disturbing reality of inflation in all Member States”.

Regarding the sustainability of democratic institutions in the European Union, the fifth goal of the Prague government, Thiago Antunes noted that this is the least related priority to the war in Ukraine.

“But this will certainly be one of the most frequent topics in European debates in the near future,” he added.

During the debate, PSD MP Sergio Marques accused the Portuguese government of adopting a position of “restraint and reluctance, almost opposition to granting Ukraine candidate status, changing its position only at the last minute so as not to be speaking in private.”

Then Andre Ventura, the leader of Chega, accused the PS of “failing to decide” on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.

PS MP Kapulas Santos said his party “could not disagree with the priorities of the Czech presidency” but wondered if the “European Union” would survive the impact of the new enlargement.

In turn, MP Bernardo Blanco from the Liberal Initiative said that regarding the priorities of the Czech presidency, the party “fully agrees with the first priority regarding Ukraine”, but refused to depend “on countries that pose a great geopolitical risk.” .”, such as Russia or China.

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Communist Diana Ferreira believed that “the goals that are adopted in this presidency in matters of energy or energy security are to protect the interests of big capital” and believed that “solving these problems is not at all a priority.”

Mariana Mortagua of BE asked for flexibility in the entry of refugees into the European Union, as happened with Ukrainians, criticizing the “absolute hypocrisy of double ‘standards'”.

In the same vein, PAN sole deputy Inés Souza Real refused to allow the European Union to treat people fleeing war “as first and second class refugees”, while Livre’s sole deputy Ruy Tavares questioned whether the Portuguese government would support a joint refugee resettlement program in the European Union.”

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PAN wants to abolish fees for teaching Portuguese abroad



PAN wants to abolish fees for teaching Portuguese abroad

O PAN has submitted a draft to Parliament to stop collecting tuition/entry fees for young Portuguese and descendants of Portuguese who attend or will attend Portuguese language teaching abroad.

The diploma, which was presented this Wednesday to the Assembly of the Republic, refers to a petition signed by 4,524 people that was delivered to Parliament in the previous legislature. Petition titled “Portuguese for all! Concerning the right of our children and young people to study Portuguese abroad, it proposes to “protect and strengthen the teaching of Portuguese among children and young people of Portuguese and Portuguese living abroad”.

PAN understands that the formal learning of the Portuguese language by Portuguese children and young people living abroad is “more than the right of these children and young people, is the responsibility of the state” and is a way to ensure the continuity of “Portuguese across borders”.

“Petition No. 168/XIV/2.ª gives the Assembly of the Republic the opportunity to review the state of the official network of teaching Portuguese abroad for the Portuguese and the descendants of the Portuguese, as well as to consider its problems and the causes of these problems. “, – says PAN.

The party, led by Inés Sousa Real, warns of “a small number of students studying Portuguese abroad” and justifies this fact with “mandatory attendance rates applicable to all students”.

“Currently, the school has about 20,000 students, which is a third of what it was in 2008. This situation is largely justified by the fact that in the 2012/2013 academic year there was a mandatory attendance rate for all students, which meant revenge on the idea that there are constitutional rights for the Portuguese community abroad, but they can only be exercised if they are paid, which is regrettable,” the document says.

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PAN also reports that even during the pandemic, students had to continue paying tuition fees “despite being unable to attend remote classes due to a lack of necessary resources.”

“In the previous legislature, the PAN at the headquarters of the Education Commission requested the Minister of Education for the designation of the revenues generated from the collection of tuition fees, but never received a clear answer,” the party points out, also mentioning that he had already submitted a draft resolution about the abolition of tuition/registration fees for these young people who are “only not moving forward due to the dissolution of the Assembly of the Republic”.

“As part of this initiative, PAN, in an effort to address this clearly defined problem, is proposing to abolish tuition fees for all Portuguese and Portuguese young people who attend or will attend Portuguese language teaching, from January 1, 2023, as this makes no sense in constitutional law payable, and that students have to pay for what is already funded by the Portuguese state,” the document says.

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What Makes Professional AV Solutions the Top Priority in Business Meetings



Do you need someone to get you the most promising professional AV control solutions but don’t know specifically when the market is overflowing with choices? Well, don’t you worry anymore because we have tons of choices right at your disposal for the best experience, be it for your office or even for educational purposes.

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The AV solution is one where there is a huge display, and each of the members in the room can see and hear the deeds of the presentation very easily. Not only that, it is different from the monotonous lectures and adds a bit of spark, making people more engaged. After all, visual aids are always great for a better impact.

Affordable AV Solutions with Biamp Systems

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So, if you want to offer a great audio-visual meeting experience to all the participants from different geographical locations, you must opt for professional AV Solutions today. Connect with team Biamp Systems and place your order.

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